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Big hike forecast in pig farm incomes for 2016/17

1st Mar 2017 / By Alistair Driver

Average income on specialist pig farms is forcecast to more than double to £57,000 in 2016/17 on the back of vastly improved pig prices.

The latest Defra Farm Business Income forecasts predict a 163% increase from the average pig farm income £21,600 recorded in 2015/16, when the industry was shaken by a long period of low prices.

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NPA chief executive Zoe Davies welcomed the increase but stressed the need for it to be sustained to faciitate investment in the pig industry.  

She said: "The Defra figures confirm a welcome upturn in fortunes, albeit from a period of desperately low prices and incomes that saw many pig farms go out of business last year. It also needs to be pointed out that this average figure masks significant variation among individual businesses.

"Much of the improvement has been driven by currency changes, as well as tight supplies and strong export, but the reality is that we remain in very volatiles times where the market can fall as quickly as it rises. 

"This period of improved prices needs to be sustained in the long-term to enable pig farmers to invest properly in their businesses to take advantage of the opportunities undoubtedly out there. That requires the supply chain to play its part, including longer-term contracts for pig producers."

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