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A spike in pork meet is being caused by a shortage of pigs in the market. More increases are expected as we head towards Summer and the BBQ season.


As we head towards Easter pork prices are rising from an already high level. Consumers are noticing an increase in the cost of their favorite pork products, and many are wondering why this is happening. The answer lies in a significant shortage of pigs, which has led to a sharp increase in prices. I

The shortage of pigs is largely due to a record number of pig producers exiting the market in the last 12 months. This has led to a significant reduction in the number of pigs available for slaughter. In addition, carcass weight reduction is exacerbating the reduction in numbers. In the UK, the yield is down 6kg, approximately 7% in weight year on year, and we are seeing a similar picture across Europe. This reduction in yield is having a significant impact on the availability of different pork cuts.

Some producers have moved wholesalers to weekly pricing, where they previously negotiated monthly, and the increases implemented are far sharper than forecasted. This means that prices are rising faster than anticipated, catching many consumers off guard.

For example, shoulders for sausage production have increased by 20%, while loins, which will be used in back bacon production, are up 28%. Legs, which impact gammon and ham production, have seen rises of 25%. Boneless cuts are more adversely impacted due to the yield issues highlighted above. This reduction in yield is driving up prices as consumers compete for a smaller pool of available meat.

We are currently at a low point in seasonal demand, but as we move into summer, demand for the BBQ season across Europe could potentially see further spikes in prices. This is a worrying trend for both consumers and the industry. Consumers may have to pay more for their favorite pork products, while the industry may struggle to meet demand and maintain profitability.

In conclusion, the current rise in pork prices is due to a shortage of pigs caused by a record number of pig producers exiting the market and a reduction in carcass weight. This shortage is driving up prices, and as we move into summer, demand for pork products may increase, leading to further price spikes. While the situation is concerning, it is important to remember that the pork industry is resilient and will likely adapt to the changing market conditions over time.

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