Further growth for pig farm business incomes in 2017/18

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According to the latest forecasts from Defra, the average farm business income (or net profit) increased again on specialist pig farms in 2017/18.

At £61,000, incomes are estimated to have increased 5% year on year. This would be the highest level in four years.

The increase reflects higher finished pig prices, which were on average 17% higher than in the previous year. Weaner, store and cull sow prices also averaged higher. However, growth in incomes is expected to be reduced by higher feed prices. Feed wheat and barley were more expensive across the year, although the impact of this will have been dampened somewhat by cheaper soya.

It is also important to note a significant proportion of enterprises in the Farm Business Survey sample are contract rearers. Higher pig prices unlikely to be fully reflected in the income level of these farms. As such, this is assumed to have dampened the overall growth in Farm Business Income for specialist pig farms during in 2017/18.

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Most types of farm are projected to have increased their income compared to the previous year. The fall in the value of the pound boosted commodity prices in a number of sectors, helping support average incomes. In addition, farm business incomes on dairy farms are expected to double, reflecting higher milk prices and increased output. However, average incomes on grazing livestock farms are expected to decline, with higher costs offsetting an increase in output.

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Bethan Wilkins, Analyst

bethan.wilkins@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8757