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Significant fluctuations in livestock gross margins

11/10/2023

In August 2023, the livestock sector's gross margins showed various trends. The monthly gross margin for dairy farms declined by over 40% since the beginning of the year and fell to a level just below the long-term average. The monthly gross margin for laying hens also declined, due to a sharp reduction in egg prices. The broiler chicken sector maintained a high margin, thanks to lower feed prices. Fattening pigs and sow farms saw positive developments, with rising output prices and decreasing feed costs.


The monthly gross margin for the standardised dairy farm in August 2023 was 19,000 euros. This is 43% lower than in January of this year and 42% lower than the same month of the previous year. Despite this significant decrease, the gross margin was just a few percentage points below the long-term average for this month. In 2023, Dutch dairy prices decreased by 10 to 22%. During 2022, the milk price increased from 44 euros per 100 kg to 63 euros, but in August 2023 it dropped back to 42 euros.

The monthly gross margin for laying hens in August 2023 was over 62,000 euros per farm, a substantial decline compared to two months earlier when the margin was more than 122,000 euros. Egg prices have decreased by about 30% since May 2023, from 2.37 euros per kg to 1.66 euros per kg in August. This resulted in lower revenues.

In the broiler chicken sector, the monthly gross margin in August 2023 remained high compared to previous years, with almost 53,000 euros per farm. This was due to a decrease of about 20% in feed prices, which compensated for the slight decrease in broiler chicken output prices for this year.

The monthly gross margin for the fattening pig sector in August 2023 was over 30,000 euros higher than at the beginning of this year. This improvement was mainly due to a 22% increase in revenue prices and an over 18% decrease in feed costs compared to the beginning of 2023. The rolling annual gross margin for fattening pigs has risen slightly. In August, however, it was still nearly 3,000 euros below the long-term average.

The monthly gross margin for sow farming in August 2023 was over 110,000 euros higher than in August of the previous year. This significant increase was due to a 70% increase in revenues and a 16% decrease in feed costs. The rolling annual gross margin for sows is well above the long-term average; in August 2023, the annual gross margin was a staggering 680,000 euros higher than the average over the previous 10 years.

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