Pig total falls as production costs rise - Meat Promotion Wales

A pig
Image caption Pigs are marketed earlier as producers struggle, Meat Promotion Wales says

The number of pigs in Wales has more than halved in just over a decade as production costs continue to rise, figures show.

Meat Promotion Wales (MPW) says there were 25,600 pigs in Wales at the end of last year, compared to 65,200 in 2000.

Although prices have risen year-on-year, MPW says producers currently get nearly £1.55 per kilogram, about 14p less than the cost of production.

MPW spokesman John Richards mainly blamed the high cost of feed.

He said: "At the same time, the size of the Welsh pig herd continues to decline.

"A 4% drop in numbers to the year ending December 2011 saw the total number of pigs in Wales stand at 25,600.

"This is less than half the number in 2000 when there were 65,200 pigs in Wales."

British pork prices rose slightly this year, he said.

He said the average carcass weight was currently lower than in August 2011, adding: "This is probably as a result of producers marketing their pigs earlier than usual as they struggle to break even due to rising production costs."

The number of pigs passing through Welsh abattoirs in August was 2,700 - 14% fewer than a year earlier - and the third consecutive month when numbers declined, he said.

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