You might have noticed that our pork prices have risen over the last few weeks, most notably our Half and Pig Butchers Boxes, which have risen from £99.99 to £119.99. This is not us attempting to increase profits, this is due to external price rises out of our control, and in response, to help our customers get as much value as they can, we have released a Whole Pig Butchers Box at £199.99. We know it's a lot of meat, but sending more product per delivery, helps us offset transport costs.
Why Have Prices Risen?
Never mind Brexit, there is a much more surprising reason for world pork prices to be rising so dramatically, and that is the sudden rise in exports to China. Let me continue... China accounts for almost 47%* of WORLD pig production. Pork is the staple meat in China and accounts for 62%* of all meat consumption in the country. They are currently experiencing declining breeding sow numbers (the Chinese government estimate breeding numbers are down 19%* compared to last year), and are also suffering with an outbreak of ASF (African Swine Fever), which has seen confirmed cases in almost all regions of the country. Forecasts are suggesting that there will be a decline in production of 20%* for the whole year. This leaves a shortfall of some 10 millions tonnes* of pork. So they're looking to the import market to plug the gap, which has increased demand in Europe by almost a third, which in turn has forced prices to rise significantly across Europe and the UK.
Could There Be Further Rises?
The Chinese pig industry is looking at ways to increase it's breeding herd, but obviously that will take time. This currently leaves the world pork industry in some uncertainty, and it is entirely possible that prices across the EU and UK will rise even higher over the coming months.
In other words, it could be a good time to fill the freezer!
* Information taken from Meat Management article by Bob Bansback published in the April 2019 magazine edition.