Cost of pigmeat production in UK increased by 8% in 2018

The cost of pigmeat production in 17 countries has been examined in a report by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The popular annual publication – The Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries – has been updated with (the latest) 2018 data and, for the first time, reports on indoor and outdoor sows separately.


It shows the cost of pigmeat production in the UK rose by 8% in 2018, to £1.47/kg. The average cost of production in the EU was £1.44/kg deadweight – a 4% rise compared with 2017.

The report also revealed that average feed prices were higher; increasing across the participating EU countries by an average of just over 9%.

“These latest figures show that in comparison with the previous year, EU pig prices were relatively weak during 2018 as supplies increased,” said AHDB’s pork lead analyst Carol Davis.

“Good profitability during 2017 had encouraged herd expansion and, on top of this, feed prices were on an upward trend; meaning that producer margins generally worsened as the year progressed.

“The impact of lower pig prices, particularly during the autumn, therefore, had an exaggerated effect,” she said.

Pigs weaned

The report also revealed a 1% increase in pigs weaned per sow in the UK’s indoor herd to 27.35. However, as a consequence of the weather in 2018, the UK’s outdoor herds’ performance fell by 3% to 23.22.

Excluding the UK’s outdoor herds, there is a difference of 8.8 pigs weaned per sow per year between the highest-performing and lowest-performing EU countries.

The report also showed the average number of pigs finished per sow in the UK’s indoor herds increased by 1% to 25.41 pigs and indoor herds produced more than 2t of carcass meat per sow – up 1% on 2017.

The full report can be accessed online.