Despite continued pressure on feed input costs, together with ongoing challenges in respect of non-feed costs, the sector performed well during 2011. Output, prices and export values rose by 9%, 12% and 18% respectively. Trade to international markets in particular, grew significantly during 2011, with Irish pigmeat exports to both Russia and China performing especially well. These were important markets which were closed in the wake of the dioxin incident, but which have now fully reopened.
Output in Ireland
During 2011 the output value attributable to pig production is estimated to have increased by almost one-fifth (€64 million) to almost €393 million. Growth in the level of disposal at meat plants, together with a strong performance in live exports, particularly to Northern Ireland, would appear to indicate that the sector has settled back to trend following the disruption caused as a result of the pigmeat recall.
Producer prices continued their recovery during 2011 and were ahead of 2010 levels on a weekly basis for each week since February.Weekly prices ranged between €129.99/100kgs in late January to €147.93/100kgs in late October. Prices stayedwithin a range of 2c/kg fromearly June to the end of the year. The average price during 2011 was €142.92/100kgs and was 12c/kg higher than 2010. At the end of the year, prices were almost 16c/kg higher than the previous year, an increase of 12.2%.
During 2011, approximately 2.85 million pigs were slaughtered in DAFM export-approved plants. This equates to an increase of some 9% compared to 2010. Approximately 87,000 sows are included in this 2011 figure, some 6,000 higher than the previous year. Pork accounted for almost 97% of the total. The export of live pigs to Northern Ireland grew by almost 10% and reached some 630,000.
Pigmeat export values increased during 2011 by 18% and amounted to €393 million. The UK continues to be the largest single market for Irish export product and witnessed a slight increase in values to almost €245 million. Volumes are estimated to have increased marginally to 72,000 tonnes. Continental European markets experienced a degree of consolidation rather than expansion with volumes stable at approximately 43,000 tonnes worth an estimated €75 million. The outturn in International markets was far more positive. Export volumes grewby over 25% and reached some 43,000 tonnes. The value of this product is in the region of €72 million. Much of the increase was in China and Russia, two markets
where Ireland continues to strengthen its foothold. It is important to note that, while exports performed strongly during 2011, the domestic market remains the main volume output for Irish pigmeat. Consumption in this marketplace grew by over 7% and reached 150,000 tonnes.
August 2012/ Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine/ Ireland.