Hogan has called on processors to reflect improvements in trade with increased producer prices this week. He said that a number of factors provide justification for a price increase, including a strong export trade, tightening supplies and a steady demand for Irish product on the domestic market.

“While quotes have remained relatively static at the €1.60/kg level for the past number of weeks, it is clear that prices well in excess of this level are being secured for both spot loads and long-term consignments of pigs from large-scale producers,” he said.

Hogan warned processors that the price paid to smaller producers cannot be used to subsidise a small number of deals for larger pig producers. He called on all pig processors to increase prices paid to all pig farmers to well in excess of €1.60/kg this week.

Pigmeat exports

Irish pigmeat exports saw growth in both 2015 and 2016. The greatest increase has been in exports to China, and prospects remain positive that China will remain a major player in the importation of Irish pigmeat in 2017. Domestic Chinese pig supply is likely to remain tight for 2017.

Producers have experienced one of the worst price crises in decades

“Demand for offal over the past 18 months has shown the most modest growth with consumers in this market willing to spend more on food items, in particular for pork, where food safety and animal welfare are highly regarded. All indications point toward further opportunities for Irish exporters into this market,” Hogan said.

He added that it is crucial that any gains achieved from increased exports to markets such as China are fairly reflected in producer prices. “Producers have experienced one of the worst price crises in decades and it will take a long period of strong margins to recoup loses of the past two years”.

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Pig prices reported to IFA w/c 30 January 2017