Pigs back­ing up, prices un­changed

Irish Examiner - Farming - - FARMMARKETS -

Pig farm­ers said this week prices are un­changed, af­ter a year in which they lost 10c per kg on av­er­age, leav­ing their credit terms stretched be­yond ca­pac­ity. Mean­while, pigs are back­ing up on farms, due to a fac­tory labour dis­pute. Bord Bia sources in yes­ter­day’s Ex­port Per­for­mance & Prospects re­port pre­dicted pig­meat out­put will come un­der fur­ther pres­sure in China, with the herd al­ready re­duced as much as 10% by African Swine Fever (ASF) pres­sures. Out­put could also de­cline in 2019 to some ex­tent in the EU. But US pro­duc­tion is ex­pected to in­crease 5% this year. US ex­ports of pork to China have been af­fected by tar­iffs, but the ef­fect has been cush­ioned by strong de­mand for US pork in Ja­pan and South Ko­rea. ASF is al­ready present in Bel­gium, and could have a very dam­ag­ing ef­fect on Eu­ro­pean trade if it spreads to other West­ern Eu­ro­pean coun­tries. Bord Bia sources also said Brexit poses an un­pre­dictable chal­lenge to the Ir­ish pig­meat in­dus­try, with 56% of pig­meat ex­ports from pri­mary and se­condary pro­ces­sors go­ing to the UK, and 99% of live ex­ports. In re­sponse, Ire­land seeks ac­cess to new mar­kets.

De­vel­op­ments in 2018 may pave the way for mar­ket ac­cess this year in Mex­ico.

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