Pig production to be reduced amid concerns over low prices

Pig production to be reduced amid concerns over low prices

Pork meat is prepared at Kun Thorn market in Samut Prakan. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Pork meat is prepared at Kun Thorn market in Samut Prakan. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Internal Trade Department plans to cooperate with the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) and the Swine Raisers Association of Thailand to reduce pig production to an average of 8,000 piglets per day, helping to stabilise the price for livestock producers nationwide.

Internal Trade director-general Wattanasak Sur-iam said the department, in collaboration with the Swine Raisers Association of Thailand and the Livestock Development Department, plans to campaign for greater consumption of pork to help raise the price as the production of live pigs currently exceeds demand, from an average daily production of 50,000 to 58,000 pigs.

The Internal Trade Department is seeking cooperation from wholesale and retail stores and department stores to refrain from holding promotional campaigns for pork products to help curtail the losses suffered by farmers as a result of low buying prices at farms, adding that the price of fresh whole slaughtered pork is already low at 130 baht per kilogramme.

Mr Wattanasak said the price of live pigs at farms is currently at 67-68 baht per kg, which is far below the estimated production cost of 72 baht per kg, according to the Office of Agricultural Economics.

The reduction in pig production would raise the price while the department will also help reduce production costs, in particular the price of pig feed so farmers can survive.

Chakra Yodmani, deputy director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said the department is in talks with the Thai Feed Mill Association to follow up on the price of raw material for animal feed.

It was found that the price of animal feed is falling, as reflected by the lower price of raw materials in the first two months of the year, which include corn meal at 10.26 baht per kg compared with last year's average of 12.67 baht per kg, soybean meal at 13.92 baht per kg compared with last year's average of 16.84 baht per kg, wheat at 7.74 baht per kg compared with last year's average of 8.23 baht per kg, and fish meal at 32 baht per kg compared with last year's average of 36.61 baht per kg.

"The department will closely monitor the price of the raw materials of animal feed and urge the producers to reduce the price accordingly given the continual reduction in price," Mr Chakra said.

"Overall, the price of animal feed gradually reduced compared with last year, in particular wheat, and soybean meal which is expected to be further reduced due to a larger area for cultivation in Argentina."

Regarding the assistance to pig farmers by reducing the price of animal feed through a collaboration between pig farmers and feed millers, the Internal Trade Department is willing to continue to support such an initiative to help alleviate the losses of farmers for over a year.

In a related development, Mr Wattanasak added that Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai would announce a partnership on March 7 between the department and Thailand Post to use Thong Fah ('Blue Flag') low-priced stores as drop-off points for goods from farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises and the public.

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