PRRS pulls down Thailand’s pork production

Surachai Sutthitham

PRRS has hit swine farms in Thailand, causing a decline in live hog production in the country. Among affected farms, small-scale backyard farms are the worst hit.

“In the eastern and northern regions, production is down by 50-60%, and farmers are having a hard time,” Surachai Sutthitham, President of the Thai Swine Raisers Association (TSRA) told Asian Agribiz.

Many farmers have temporarily halted production, choosing a wait-and-see approach. TSRA is talking with the Department of Livestock Development about low-interest loans for farmers to keep them afloat.

High production costs

PRRS and other factors such as biosecurity costs and higher prices of feed ingredients have increased production costs. Pig production cost currently averages USD 2.40/kg.

“The costs of biosecurity and disease surveillance have risen sharply,” said Mr Surachai, adding this is amid decreasing pork consumption due to the economic impact of Covid-19. Also, Covid-19 infections caused several pig slaughterhouses to close. 

“Although pork supply is down, pork demand is significantly lower than supply,” added Mr Surachai.

Many small and medium-scale farmers have recorded losses and may quit the industry, he said.

The association has urged the Ministry of Commerce to remove the 2% import tariff on soybean meal to reduce feed costs.