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Pork Prices up. The effects of African swine fever

cuts-of-pork-feature-image-002.jpgChina recently culled 916,000 pigs after around 100 outbreaks of African swine fever were found in the country. The disease reached 24 provinces since the outbreak last August which has had a knock-on effect across Europe and the UK’s pork prices.

African swine fever does not harm humans but it’s deadly to pigs and there is currently no cure or vaccine.

China produces over half of the world’s pigs at 700 million a year, most of which stay within China’s borders with just 1.6 million exported. While Beijing keeps frozen pork reserves, which were used to alleviate rising pork prices in 2016/17, we have seen an increase in China buying from European and UK farms to ensure continuation of their staple meat. 

eu-ref-pork-prices.jpg

This is both on frozen and. Although this has given the UK and Europe an opportunity to export, it has caused an increase in price as the supply gap could equate in excess of 2.5mt if there is just a 5% fall in production. There are current reports from Rabobank that production levels could decline as much as 20% through 2019. This will in turn influence pork prices and essentially push an increase effecting the high street butcher.

AHDB EU REF price tracker chart image showing increase in pork prices through March.

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