Cost disadvantage of Dutch pig production compels improved cooperation

Published on
April 14, 2017

Cost of pig production in the Netherlands is showing arrears compared to neighbouring countries, due to worsened feed costs, a modestly increasing sow performance, increasing manure disposal costs and increased labour costs. The main professional pig production countries in Western Europe have a calculated cost of about €1.40-1.45 per kg carcass weight. The Netherlands is more expensive, with €1.60 per kg.

The relative cost position of the pig production in the Netherlands has clearly worsened since 2012, compared to Denmark, Germany, France and Spain. In piglet production, the Netherlands has a rather favourable cost position; however, the gap with Germany has reduced. In fattening, the Netherlands has very high production costs.

The cost of pig production only partially explains differences in the competitive position of countries. In the report, a conceptual model on competitiveness in pig production has been presented. Given the fact that production costs in the Netherlands are losing ground compared to direct competitors in neighbouring countries, the need for improved revenues is increasingly clear. Dutch producers should boost added value production. An improved cooperation of farmers, as well as with other partners in the supply chain is required.

The Dutch pig production is part of a European and global market. To get insight into the competitive position of the Dutch pig production an international cost comparison has been performed. This is part of the international InterPIG network with currently members of 17 countries, of which Wageningen Economic Research has been a member from the very beginning. Each year InterPIG produces a comparison of pig production costs on farm level.