Irish pig processors have been called on to implement similar price increases to those seen across Europe amid accusations they are lagging behind on prices.

IFA pig committee chair Tom Hogan said there had been a dramatic improvement in market conditions. He demanded that factories pass this on to farmers who had been “haemorrhaging money” for months.

“Countries with a similar producing and export profile to Ireland have experienced price increases of 25% to 30%. Demand from Chinese buyers has been strong in recent weeks, due to a shortage of domestic pork production,” Hogan said.

Germany’s pig price has increased from a low of €1.36/kg in January to a price of €1.73/kg. The Spanish pig market which is noted for its seasonality volatility has seen increases from €1.25/kg up to €1.60/kg.

Crisis meeting

A crisis pig meeting was held by the IFA recently after which delegations of suppliers met with their processors to demand a 10c/kg price rise. This would have seen Irish prices reach €1.60/kg.

Factories responded with a 4c/kg increase which Hogan said was not enough for farmers who were “battered and bruised financially and mentally”.

“[Farmers] need to see the benefits of the improved market conditions immediately to begin the process of repaying the massive debt levels that has accumulated over the past 14 months,” he concluded.