Pig prices to rise, Milk prices to drop and average farm incomes to increase by 8%


Teagasc have released their Outlook report for 2019 and predict pig prices to rise by up to 7.8%, milk prices to drop by up to 5%, beef calf prices to rise by up to 10%, feed use to drop and average farm incomes to increase by up to 8% in 2019.

Pig prices to rise, Milk prices to drop and average farm incomes to increase by 8%

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Teagasc have released their Outlook report for 2019 and predict pig prices to rise by up to 7.8%, milk prices to drop by up to 5%, beef calf prices to rise by up to 10%, feed use to drop and average farm incomes to increase by up to 8% in 2019.

Should weather conditions return to normal for 2019, there is expected to be a major reduction in feed expenditures. The main concern for the coming year is rising fertiliser prices, with fuel and feed set to remain at similar levels to 2018.

The main concern for all sectors this coming year seems to be fertiliser prices, with Teagasc predicting farm incomes to increase by up to 8% in 2019. They say this will help income recover on drystock and dairy farms.

Beef -
In beef Cattle, prices are expected to increase across the board.

In calves, prices are estimated to rise by up to 10%, with an increase of up to 2% on R3 steer prices. Weanling and store cattle prices are also expected to increase, by 3% and 6% respectively. Feed use is forecast to be down, by 1%, while Teagasc economist estimate that direct cost will slightly increase, by 1%.

Overall, the report estimates that the total input costs for beef farmers will be “significantly lower” than 2018 levels and they forecast the gross margin for Suckler farmers to improve by up to 20% and by up to 19% for farmers finishing cattle.

Dairy -
For the dairy industry, Irish Milk production levels could be set to rise even further this year, by up to 6%. The Irish milk price could fall by up to 5%, however.


After the recent increase in feed given to dairy stock in 2018, these levels of feed use are expected to fall back down again, dropping by up to 30% per head. The total costs per litre of milk is also forecast to drop (by 11%), with feed prices to remain relatively unchanged.

Net Margins for Dairy enterprises should improve by up to 10% per litre on 2018.

Sheep -
According to the report, lamb slaughter levels will be down slightly in 2019 with prices remaining relatively unchanged.

Feed use is expected to be down by up to 28% in most cases, with total input costs estimated to fall by 6%. Gross margins per Hectare are set to increase by 105 on 2018, to €764.

Tillage -
Yields are expected to return to normal levels this year, provided weather conditions stay normal.

Cereal prices are expected to drop by up to 18% on 2018 levels, though yields for Spring barley and winter wheat are expected to increase dramatically, by 20% and 9% respectively. Total Direct input costs are expected to increase in 2019, with seed prices also forecast to increase, by up to 15%.

Gross margins for Spring Barley is expected to decrease by €100 per ha, with winter wheat gross margins to drop by up to €400 per ha. Net margins, meanwhile, could fall by over €200 per hectare on 2018. The outlook for tillage will depend on harvest prices for 2019.

Pigs -
Pig populations should remain at similar levels in 2019, with slaughter numbers expected to increase slightly also (by up to 2%).

Live pig export numbers will, again, remain similar to 2018, though prices are finally expected to rise! According to the Outlook report, Pig prices could rise by up to 7.8% on 2018 prices (1.40 per kg) to as much as €1.51 per kg. Feed prices are on the up, however, set to increase by up to €313 per tonne of 3.3%.

Margin over feed costs is forecast to range at 40c per kg, up 21.2% on 2018.

Please Note: This Outlook report was conducted under the assumption that weather conditions return to normal in 2019. To read the Teagasc 2019 Outlook report in full, visit here.

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