Water Week

EWN Publishing

WA pig producers losing up to $16 a head, as wheat-price rises to $350/t

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

WA pig producers could be losing up to $16 a head, depending on their risk management strategies, reported Farm Weekly (13/9/2007, p.16). Wheat prices rise: A month ago one producer had paid $250 for a tonne of wheat which had since risen to $350/t. A $10/t increase in feed grain equated to about a 5c/kg rise in the cost of production. The WA pig slaughter fell by more than 100,000 pigs from the 2004 to 2007 financial years, which resulted in a 6289 tonne drop in pigmeat production. Australian Pork Limited (APL) chief executive officer Andrew Spencer said drought, imports and the dollar factor had come together to create the worst operating environment for Australian pig farmers in living memory. “The greatest impact has been the skyrocketing price of feed grains,” Spencer said.

Imports rising, too: “Added to this have been record levels of imports displacing Australian-grown pork, particularly in the manufacturing sector. At the same time the high dollar has been responsible for slowing pork exports to major export markets like Singapore. Pork normally destined for Singapore has been pushed back onto our already oversupplied domestic market.” Spencer said in dollar terms Australia’s pork industry was bleeding at a rate of around $3-$4 million a week in losses. “Producers are currrently losing on average more than $30 per pig sold,” he said.

Farm Weekly, 13/9/2007, p. 16

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