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

Pork inflation: Bacon and sausage are about to get even more expensive as UK pig prices rise 27% and farmers face ever-high feed costs

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

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Bacon and sausage will become more expensive, with the price of a pig in the UK rising by more than a quarter, according to industry figures.

A jump in wheat and soybean prices 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 rose 27 percent in the three months to the end of June compared to the same period a year ago, meat producer Cranswick said in a trade update.

Pig inflation: UK pig price has risen 27%, meat producer Cranswick said

Pig inflation: UK pig price has risen 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 to outside producers.

Cranswick owns five farms in the UK, raising and slaughtering pigs and chickens.

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

The surge in pig prices reported by the company marks just the latest surge for one of Britain’s most beloved products.

The cost of pork has risen 80 percent in the past two years, according to a recent index that charts the cost of breakfast foods.

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

The company is one of the business winners of the coronavirus pandemic, with sales being boosted by families cooking at home during the lockdown.

It reported a 13 percent increase in pre-tax profits to £130 million in the year to the end of March, with sales up 5.3 percent to just over £2 billion.

However, the war in Ukraine has helped to increase the price of grain used for animal feed, making it more expensive for companies like Cranswick to produce meat.

The company said cost inflation remained “significant and widespread” but it managed “proactively” through “tight cost containment” and growing sales.

In May, the company’s boss, Adam Couch, urged the government to do more to support pig farmers in times of rising feed prices and persistent labor shortages.

But sales are still soaring — it reported a 7.6 percent increase in sales in the three months to June 25, or a 5.8 percent like-for-like increase, excluding recent acquisitions.

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

Pork exports to the Far East were lower than expected as market prices fell from the high levels of recent years.

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

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