NPA chairman Richard Lister told processors that British pig producers are losing millions of pounds each month due to the failure of UK pig prices to move in line with clear global trends.
According to Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board statistics, the EU-spec SPP rose 1.51p to average 144.45p/kg last week which represents another week of prices moving in favour of producers however the NPA feels that this “meagre increase means that, yet again, UK producers are not receiving anywhere near the returns they deserve, given current Asia-driven global market dynamics”.
The pig price remains just under 3.5p below the same period of 2018 and still behind EU prices, which have surged by more than 30p/kg since early February, while UK prices have gained just 6p.
AHDB estimates that another 6-8p/kg needs to be added onto the EU reference price for a like-for-like comparison to account for issues like levies, deductions and haulage costs UK producers pay. However Lister believes the difference could be more than 10p/kg.
NPA calculations show that with 6p added to the EU price, UK producers have been losing out on well over £1m a week between mid-April and mid-May which adds up to more than £8m over the five-week period.
It also calculated another figure, adding 15p to the EU reference price. This reflects the usual price premium British producers expect over imported EU product due to the unseen costs and production differences, for example in welfare standards.
With 15p added to cover the usual UK premium, the weekly losses range from £2m to in excess of £3m per week, with total losses over five weeks exceeding £13m.
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies added: “These figures highlight the extent to which UK producers are losing out because of the actions of UK processors. We are talking about losses in the region £8m to £13m over just five weeks, which is totally unacceptable.
“We do not believe the huge differential between UK and EU prices is justified and want to see far more significant increases in the coming weeks.”