The annual publication – The Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries – analyses the latest figures on pig meat production in 17 countries.
It revealed that the average cost of production in the EU was £1.44 per kg deadweight – a 4% rise compared with 2017.
The report also revealed that average feed prices were higher, increasing across the participating EU countries by an average of just over 9%.
AHDB’s pork lead analyst Carol Davis said: “These latest figures show that, in comparison with the previous year, EU pig prices were relatively weak during 2018 as supplies increased.
“Good profitability during 2017 had encouraged herd expansion and, on top of this, feed prices were on an upward trend, meaning that producer margins generally worsened as the year progressed. The impact of lower pig prices, particularly during the autumn, therefore, had an exaggerated effect.”
The report also revealed a 1% increase in pigs weaned per sow in the UK’s indoor herd to 27.35. However, as a consequence of the weather in 2018, the UK’s outdoor herds’ performance fell by 3% to 23.22.
Excluding the UK’s outdoor herds, there was a difference of 8.8 pigs weaned per sow per year between the highest- and lowest-performing EU countries.
The report also showed the average number of pigs finished per sow in the UK’s indoor herds increased by 1% to 25.41 pigs and indoor herds produced more than two tonnes of carcase meat per sow – up 1% on 2017.
The news comes as red meat exports from the UK rocketed to more than 1.5bn last year, making 2019 one of the strongest years on record.
The AHDB said the strong figures came in a year where there were some food access wins for red meat, including Japan for both beef and lamb.