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Economic results livestock farming remain strong

15/05/2023

The new year is starting off strong for most livestock farming sectors. In March 2023, the monthly gross margins for all sectors were significantly higher than in the same month last year, mainly due to increased revenue from a strong rise in prices for free-range eggs, broilers, fattening pigs, slaughter sows and milk compared to a year earlier. However, the sector is still facing significantly higher feed costs.

The monthly gross margins of the standardised dairy farm amounted to 22,300 euros in March 2023, a third lower than in January of this year. Nevertheless, it was 14% higher than the same month of the previous year and 27% above the long-term average for the month of March. Dutch dairy prices fell between 7% and 13% in 2023. Over the course of 2022, milk prices increased from 44 euros per 100 kg to 63 euros. In March 2023, the milk price declined somewhat to reach a level of 50 euros per 100 kg. However, the allocated costs were still very high at the beginning of 2023.

The monthly gross margins for laying hens in March 2023 were significantly higher at 142,000 euros per farm; 96,000 euros more than in March of the previous year. This tripling of profits is mainly due to a very strong price increase in free-range eggs to 2.61 euros per kg in March 2023. However, costs in the sector also increased, but to a much lesser extent. Feed prices have risen significantly since March 2022, partly as a result of the war in Ukraine, reaching a record high in June. Since then, feed prices have decreased slightly. In March 2023, feed costs were only 5% higher than in March 2022.

The contract price of broiler chickens in March 2023 was 13% higher than in the same period of the previous year. The monthly gross margins of broiler chickens increased, partly due to the higher contract price, to 48,500 euros per farm. These monthly gross margins were twice as high as the long-term average.

In March 2023, the monthly gross margins for fattening pigs were 11,700 euros per farm, almost 6,000 euros higher than in the same month last year. This was thanks to higher revenues that rose more than the costs of feed and piglets. However, the cumulative annual gross margins for fattening pigs in March were still 81,000 euros below the long-term average. The cumulative annual gross margins amounted to 45 euros per pig, significantly lower than the long-term average profit of 75 euros per pig.

In March 2023, the monthly gross margins for sow farming were 138,500 euros per farm, 97,000 euros higher than in March of the previous year. This increase was driven by a 70% rise in revenues. The gross margins were over twice as high as the long-term average for this month. Other costs were also well covered by the increase in revenues. The price of piglets more than doubled in March 2023 compared to the previous year, and was 40 euros above the long-term average from 2013 to 2022. For the first time in two years, the cumulative annual gross margins for sow farming in March 2023 was above the long-term average. Thanks to the recovery in recent months, the cumulative annual gross margins were 507 euros per sow, compared to a long-term average of 490 euros per sow.

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