With no change in pig processors’ price offers in the past week, IFA predicts prices will rise again in responses to Covid-19 restrictions being eased, and foodservice gradually opening.
However, IFA acknowledged that the Irish export plant flat rate prices of €1.68 to €1.76/kg (in Northern Ireland) are slightly above the EU average, and there are domestic pig price pressures in the all-important Chinese market.
But Chinese import prices are still high enough to facilitate a return of close to €2/kg for European pigmeat, according to IFA.
With further losses due to new African swine fever outbreaks slowing pig herd recovery in China, the country remains in deficit for pork, and must continue large imports, which will limit measures to reduce the country’s relatively high pork retail prices.
Meanwhile, 84c-93c/kg is on offer here for sows.
Northern Ireland is a very important market for pigs from the south, and could become even more important if plans for a proposed specialist £75m cull sow pork processing plant come to fruition.
Planning proposals have been submitted by Bannside Foods to Causeway Coast and Glens Council, with a 12-week public consultation on the plans under way.
The proposed site is the former home of the Lovell and Christmas bacon factory, which burned down in 1998.
There is no dedicated processing facility for cull sows in Northern Ireland, they have to go south across the border, to Great Britain, or into Europe.