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Cost analysis of pig slaughtering: A Hungarian case study
Published December 31, 2017

The scale of Hungarian slaughterhouses is small in international comparison and the cost of slaughter and cutting a pig of average live weight is relatively high at 16.1-19.4 EUR on average. The aim of this study is to evaluate the cost of pig slaughter and cutting through the case study of a medium-scale plant in Hungary. Based on data from th...e enterprise, a calculation was performed in relation to the “output” quantity of pig slaughter and cutting, as well as its value and the cost and cost structure of processing. The capacity of the examined plant and its utilisation were analysed and cost reductions were estimated for various increases of output. In 2015, the direct cost of slaughter and cutting was 18.9 EUR per pig for the medium-scale plant which processed 100 thousand pigs. When the purchase cost of pigs is excluded, labour costs accounted for the highest share (30%) of costs, followed by services (29%) and energy costs (21%). For this reason, the level of wages and employer’s contributions has a rather high significance. Analysis showed that significant increases in Hungarian minimum wage and guaranteed living wage in 2017 resulted in an estimated 7% increase in the cost of slaughter and cutting compared to 2015, despite the decrease of contributions. The capacity utilisation of the plant was a low 28% when compared to a single 8-hour shift considered full capacity. The cost of slaughter and cutting was estimated to be reduced to 14.2-17.0 EUR per pig if the plant operated at full capacity. This may be considered a lower bound estimate of cost because there are numerous restricting factors on optimising capacity utilisation, such as: 1) number of live animals available for purchase and related logistics; 2) cooling capacity availability; 3) labour availability; 4) market position of the enterprise and potential for marketing additional pig meat products. Enterprises of this scale are recommended to consider producing more value-added products and, accordingly, investing in product development.

JEL Classification: Q13, Q19

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Economic issues of duck production: A case study from Hungary
Published December 31, 2017

The Hungarian waterfowl sector is characterised by export orientation, as 55-57% of the revenue comes from exports, so its importance is high in the national economy. The production of slaughter animals in the duck sector has doubled in the last decade. The objective of the study is to examine production parameters, as well as the cost and situation of broiler duck production and to reveal the correlations between the factors with a case study through the example of a Hungarian company. The production parameters and cost data of the investigated farm (2014-2016, 96 production cycles) were analysed using descriptive statistical methods, correlation and regression analysis. The results show that the average cost of the duck produced in intensive, closed farming system was between 72.6 and 101.7 eurocent kg-1. The most significant cost items were feed (52-63%) and chicken cost (14-19%). The sales price decreased from 112.9 eurocent kg-1 to 98.4 eurocent kg-1 during the examined period, resulting in a profit from -3.3 to 25.7 eurocent kg-1, and overall profitability was decreasing. The study also revealed that there was no correlation between average cost and final bodyweight, while the correlation between average cost and reared period was weak. At the same time, the relationship between average cost and average daily weight gain, mortality, feed conversion ratio was moderate. In addition, the European Production Efficiency Factor (EPEF) can be adapted to the duck sector as strong, positive relationship can be scientifically verified between the indicator and average cost. There is a close correlation between the sold live weight per m2 and the amount of feed used per m2, as well as between the final bodyweight and the amount of feed used to rear a duck, while the correlation between average cost and the sold live weight per m2 is weak.

JEL Code: Q13, Q19

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