The pig market crisis in Ukraine is getting worse, which is reflected in the record increase in imports and the fall of key performance indicators.
During the first four months of 2012 Ukraine imported 43.0 thousands tonnes of pork, which is 2.8 times higher than during the corresponding period of 2011. The average price of imported pork is $ 2.27 per kg, which is 9.7% more than in January-April of 2011 ($ 2.1 per kg).
At the same time in April, pork imports reached record levels in recent years - 17.6 thousands tonnes, which is three times more than in April of 2011 and 50% more than in March of 2012. Increase in import volumes came from Brazil and Germany. Preliminary reports of analytical agencies suggests that in May, Ukraine will import about 24 thousand tonnes of pork - making it an record for monthly imports within the past seven years.
Comdistions for pork imports are favourable - pork produced by local pig farmers is not popular on the national market anymore. Imported pork has a very low quality but it is cheap and processors are completely satisfied with it. The high-quality and expensive pork from Ukraine producers are exported. Pork exports in January-April of 2012 amounted to 7.4 thousands tonnes, which is 52.8% more than in January-April 2011.
The massive import in the middle of May has led to a price collapse. During the month of May it dropped from the 39 hryvnias (US$ 4.88) per kg to 18.17 hryvnias (US$ 2.26) per kg (live weight, excluding VAT).
According Gosstata, on 1 May 2012 the total number of pigs in Ukraine fell by 3.5% against the same date of the last year, or by 268.2 thousand heads. Pork production decreased by 5.2% compared to the level of 1 May 2011.
(By Vladislav Vorotnikov)