Further UK pork price rises under threat from China and Russia

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UK pig producers are being warned further price increases are under threat from the impact of coronavirus on Chinese demand and rising Russian production.

Deadweight standard pig prices are currently tracking at about 162p/kg – 25p/kg higher than both the same week last year and the five-year average.

The spread of coronavirus in China will hamper farmers restocking pig herds that were wiped out by African swine fever (ASF), and cause production in the country to fall a further 15-20%.

This will cause global pork supplies to decline by a further 10% in 2020, according to agricultural financial service provider Rabobank.

This would see the country produce as much as 40% less pork than 2018 levels.

However, Rabobank warned consumption levels in the country are difficult to forecast, with many food service businesses shut down.

Rabobank said coronavirus and the Chinese authorities’ management of domestic pork prices is also complicating the outlook for trade.

Its latest report on the impact of ASF forecast that if prices are kept at their current level, production growth could stall and trade soften, while consumers benefit from more affordable pork.

If authorities allow prices to rise, there will likely be more aggressive re-stocking from pork suppliers, but at a less affordable price, it said.


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