Porkflation: UK pig prices jump 27% as farmers face record feed costs

Porkflation: Bacon and sausages are about to get even pricier as UK pig prices jump 27% and farmers face all-time-high feed costs

  • Wheat and soya prices at ‘all-time highs’ have pushed up the price of feed 
  • UK pig prices up 27% in three months to end of June compared to last year 
  • Cranswick supplies pork and chicken to all the main supermarkets 

Bacon and sausages are set to become more expensive with the price of a pig in the UK increasing by more than a quarter, according to industry figures.  

A jump in the price of wheat and soya to ‘all-time highs’ has pushed up the price of feed, which accounts for most of the cost of raising a pig.

As a result, UK pig prices climbed 27 per cent in the three months to the end of June compared to the same period a year ago, meat producer Cranswick said in a trading update.

Piginflation: The price of a UK pig has gone up by 27%, meat producer Cranswick said

The East Yorkshire-based company said they had ‘reflected’ these higher input costs in the price they paid to both their own farming operations and third-party producers. 

Cranswick owns five farms across the UK, where it rears and slaughters pigs and chickens. 

It then processes their meats and supplies pork and chicken to all the main supermarkets, as well as Marks & Spencer and the discounters Aldi and Lidl.

The jump in pig prices reported by the company only marks the latest increase for one of the most loved products by Britons.

The cost of pork has gone up by 80 per cent over the last two years, according to a recent index charting the cost of breakfast staples.

Pork is Cranswick’s biggest sales item, with the company processing more than 3million pigs a year and creating premium sausages, bacon and other pork products.

The company has been one of the corporate winners of the coronavirus pandemic, with sales turbo-charged by families cooking at home during lockdown.

It reported a 13 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £130million in the year to the end of March, with revenues up 5.3 per cent to just over £2billion. 

However, the war in Ukraine has contributed to push the price of cereals used for feed higher, making it more expensive for companies like Cranswick to produce meat.

The company said cost inflation remained ‘substantial and widespread’, but it was ‘proactively’ managing it by ‘tight cost control’ and growing sales. 

In May, the company’s boss, Adam Couch, urged the Government to do more to support pig farmers amid rising feed prices and an ongoing shortage of workers. 

But sales are still rising – it reported a 7.6 per cent rise in revenues in the three months to 25 June, or a 5.8 per cent rise on a like-for-like basis, when excluding recent acquisitions.

UK sales were strong, it said, with revenues ahead of last year across all its food product categories, which helped offset lower export revenues.

Pork exports to the Far East were lower as anticipated due to market prices falling back from elevated levels seen in the past couple of years. 

Pig prices in China, unlike in the UK, are still below the highs of 2019 and 2020, despite a recent uptick, the company said.

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