Pig farmers have lost out on an accumulated €9m in the six weeks between the beginning of March and 9 April when the pig prices paid by Irish processors are compared with the EU average pig meat prices, Bord Bia and European Commission data suggests.

Around 410,000 pigs were killed over these six weeks, with the average price differential between EU and Irish pig prices standing at 27c/kg.

The price gap was widest on the week ending 26 March, when the E grade pig meat price difference between Ireland and the EU reached almost 46c/kg.

The week after this peak in the price gap, Irish processors raised quotes by 20c/kg to leave prices standing at approximately 162c/kg to 165c/kg, where they have remained.

Meat Industry Ireland said on Wednesday that processors “have done everything possible to support their producer suppliers, with Irish pig prices 10% above the EU average price since September, but this is not sufficient to bridge the losses being incurred due to the dramatic external input price shock”.

Independent Teagasc analysis shows the sector has already incurred losses exceeding €60m, it said.