Feed price volatility in the pork sector
The biggest and most important single cost for pig producers is feed. Wheat is the main ingredient of pig feed and its price is keenly observed by the pig industry.
The market for wheat has been volatile in recent years with huge price rises brought about by poor harvests and a growing demand, not least for the production of bio fuels. Prices of other key ingredients, such as soya, have also increased.
Use the information on the pages below to help mitigate feed price volatility.
Improving feed efficiency in pigs
Around 10% of feed may be wasted on a typical farrow-to-finish unit. Improve or start recording feed conversion ratio (FCR) in all stages of production to allow better decision-making.
Alternative diets for pigs
Alternative feeds, such as root and forage crops and some food industry co-products, become more attractive as the price of cereals and soya rise.
Reducing the slaughter weight of pigs
Many producers have increased slaughter weights in recent years and the economics of doing this are generally in favour, even with high feed costs and pig price below the overall cost of production, as demonstrated below.
Pig to feed wheat price ratio
Wheat is a key component of pig feed, and feed accounts for about 60% of production costs. Our pig to feed wheat price ratio shows the value of finished pigs compared with nearby feed wheat futures and gives an indication of input costs in relation to income; it is updated weekly.