The 98pc majority were sold direct to abattoirs and butchers.
Upgrading a facility is estima-ted to cost about $500,000. Because of throughput numbers of only about 200 a fortnight, yarding fees would not cover the cost of construction and maintenance.
According to Australian Pork Limited (APL), live pig auction facilities are located in NSW, Qld, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia, as well as at Midland, Perth.
NSW has 10 different auction facilities at Armidale, Camden, Dubbo, Forbes, Gunnedah, Kur-rajong, Nowra, Wingham, Tem-ora and West Wylong.
Queensland has seven facilities at Gympie, Gatton, Toowoomba, Gracemere, Harrisville, Warwick and Woodford.
Victoria has seven at Ballarat, Benalla, Beddigo, Colac, North Geelong and Drouin.
South Australia has three facili-ties at Murray Bridge, Dublin and Kapunda, and Tasmania has two at Hobart and Burnie.
The reason for so many facilities in the east is because of producer numbers.
WA has about 200 pig producers and a sow herd of about 32,000.
NSW has the most farmers at 498, with a sow herd of about 89,000.
The pig industry appears to be going through a transitional phase, where producers need to get bigger in order to sustain or grow their business profits, or get out ‹ unless they are able to secure niche markets locally.
The industry relies on feed, straw and hay to keep the stock in a healthy condition and to the acceptable liveweight for sale.
With the grain price and other input costs up, many farmers have struggled to stay viable in the industry.
As a result, WA producer numbers have been falling with each passing year.
The industry also expects its producers to be of a high standard in terms of quality assurance, so that it can meet its export demands, which has pushed smaller producers to either follow the trend of getting out or expanding to remain viable.
Producers are not legally required to be quality assured but will not get their pigs sold to export markets when consigning to processors.