Speaking at the Western Australian Pork Producers’ Association’s annual Pig Day out event, Pork CRC CEO Roger Campbell said creating markets for heavier pigs would have a positive future for pork producers.
Campbell recommended that businesses should develop a $2.70 per kg pricing, which would sustain pork producers, as many struggle with declining prices due to exceeded supply.
However, Australian producers were not alone with receiving less for their pork, as the EU, US, China and the UK also reported sales slumps.
China had been significantly affected in the past five weeks with pork prices falling by 23%, while US pork plummeted by 22% in the past month.
Europe did not have quite the same significant decline, with UK pork decreasing by 2.5% and the EU by 7.6% in 2017.
"Global competitiveness is within our reach, but 2018 is likely to be volatile for the global pork industry,” Campbell said. “Buyers, including supermarkets, processors and others in the meat chain, could create markets for heavier pigs, producers would respond positively and reap rewards.”
Improvements in sow productivity were also flagged up by Campbell who believes that this would also increase volumes and profitability.
“In Pork CRC’s benchmarking group, we’re seeing consistent improvements in sow productivity, with better herds weaning 11 piglets per litter and 26 per sow per year,” Campbell added.
“If we get our average to this, we will take nearly 20 cents off other costs, independent of feed cost or carcase weight and if we get carcase weight up five kilograms, we could reduce other costs by another eight to 10 cents.”