Irish pig sector calls for ‘urgent’ government action following £50m loss

The Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has called for ‘urgent’ government action to address the severe crisis facing the pig sector.

Independent Teagasc analysis showed the sector has already suffered losses exceeding £50 million (€60 million).

Rapidly rising feed, fuel and transport costs, exacerbated by Russia’s war on Ukraine, are crippling a sector that was already struggling with the challenges presented by Brexit and Covid disruption.

Despite Irish pig prices being 10% above the EU average price since September, the returns have not been sufficient enough to bridge the losses incurred due to the dramatic external input price shock.

READ MORE: Morrisons increases pig farmer payments sixfold

The sector has also been contending with volatility in the Chinese market and the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks in several European markets.

“Rocketing feed input costs have created an unbridgeable gap between production costs and pig prices, and whilst this may narrow in coming months the scale of current losses means external support from Government is urgently required,” MII senior director Cormac Healy said.

“Producers have already incurred over €60m in losses and are being forced to exit the sector because of the unprecedented hike in feed costs. Irreparable damage will be done to a sector that is a key contributor to rural employment and export earnings.”

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