The last ten months have resulted in great losses for German pig producers. Farmers have been operating at an average loss of €7 per weaner sold.
In July, for example, according to the MLC’s European Market Survey, for every weaner sold, sow producers lost between €15 and €20. At the current weaner sale price only variable costs of production are being covered.
Number of factors
The situation is causing serious concern in the German pig industry and is the result of a number of factors, not least the high feed and energy costs, as well the pressure on prices from the high number of imported weaners from Denmark and the Netherlands, says MLC.
Since the beginning of the year fatteners have also lost on average €15 per slaughter pig. In July feed costs had risen to account for 44% of production costs, compared with 30% in July 2006, and now August feed costs are between €65 and €70 per pig. To cover the future rises in feed costs and to sustain profitable production, higher slaughter pig returns would be required.
Managers raise alarm
Managers of the German pork industry agree with the pig farmers that higher prices for piglets, fatteners and end product are needed to stay in business. “If the price crisis remains, the number of fatteners on the market will decrease dramatically, the latest next year”, concluded top managers from Vion, Tönnies, Westfleisch at a recently held crisis meeting.
Related news item:
Germany expects rise in feed costs (19 Jan 2007)
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Source: Farmers Guardian