Pig cost of production falls 16%
The latest cost of production report, produced by AHDB Pork, showed a fall of nearly 16% in 2014, to £1.39/kg.
This compares with the rest of the EU at £1.34/kg deadweight, a 14% decrease in sterling terms compared to 2013.
However, the overall average number of pigs weaned per sow per year in the European countries showed a 2% increase in 2014, up from 26.06 in 2013 to 26.53. Denmark achieved 30.0 for a second time.
There was also a 2% increase in pigs weaned per sow in Britain to 24.09 overall. Indoor sow production achieved 25.7, an increase of 3% compared to 2013.
The main reason Britain has a below average number of pigs weaned per sow lies in the number of pigs born alive per litter with Britain still performing below the EU average of 13.2. The 2014 UK average at 12.1 (indoor sows 12.6, outdoor sows 11.2) was an increase compared to 11.87 in 2013.
The report also looked at feed prices which were lower in 2014 than in 2013, falling by 16% on average across the EU countries.
In 2014 as a whole, EU feed costs per kg fell by 17% compared with a year earlier, in sterling terms. The fall in Britain was 19%, one of the greatest drops in the EU.
AHDB Pork Knowledge Transfer lead Steve Winfield said: “The areas where GB is falling behind its counterparts are those where the AHDB Pork KT Team is focusing to help businesses close the production gap.
“The three main areas are achieving +1 pig weaned, increase FCR by 0.1 and ALDWG by 50g/day with the overall aim of selling more pigs more efficiently. Within the team we have a range of services available to help businesses, delivered by our managers, who all have significant experience in the industry.
“While we all focus on ensuring that we get as many pigs sold as we can, we should pay some attention to the fact that we are still just over a pig born below the EU average. Clearly we have a range of systems and genetics and often performance can be improved by better management practices.”