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Malabar Blog
Goin’ Hog Wild!

Posted September 4, 2016

A shortage in Chinese pork going to market has caused the price to skyrocket to $25.67 yuan/kg (Approx. $5.00 CAD) earlier this year. Those prices have remained consistent, increasing the demand for imported pork, primarily from the U.S. to fill the gap in market demand.   

The Chinese government has limited reserve stocks of pork available, which will only provide temporary assistance to the marketplace. Many wonder if there will ultimately be a shift to alternative meats such as chicken or duck.

Pork Shortage in China Leads to Soaring Prices, Rush to Import

U.S. pig industry benefits from boost in exports to pork-loving China

By LUCY CRAYMER
Updated April 11, 2016 6:21 a.m. ET

Too few pigs are headed to markets in pork-loving China, leading to soaring domestic prices and a rush of pork imports from the U.S. and elsewhere to fill the gap.

Prices of the key ingredient in everything from lunchtime pork dumplings to fiery Sichuan-style mapo tofu have risen 48% in China in the last year. The average price of pork in the week ended April 2 was 25.67 yuan a kilogram (roughly $1.80 a pound), up from 17.35 yuan a kilogram a year earlier, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture.

High pork prices were felt in the latest inflation data out of China on Monday. Consumer prices were up 2.3% in March from a year earlier, steady from the previous month. The food-price component of the index was up 7.6% in March, led by higher pork and vegetable prices. Pork continues to hold a high weighting—around 3%, according to Rabobank—in the price of the basket of goods and services that is used to calculate the consumer-price index.

Prices of pork in China, the world’s largest pork consumer, are higher than elsewhere in the world. For example, pork in Europe sells on average for 65 U.S. cents a pound.

a customer pays a vendor at a market in Beijing on March 25, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pork prices in China are up by nearly half in the past year. Above, a customer pays a vendor at a market in Beijing on March 25, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

China’s pork imports in February were up 76% from a year earlier, and in January they were up 56%. Imports are forecast to remain robust until the second half of the year, analysts said.

The U.S. has benefited. Its exports to China in February were up 38% from the previous month, to 15,925 metric tons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That was highest monthly level since March 2014.

Meaty Problem

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