Pork plays a major role in Chinese consumption, with about 65% of China’s meat being pork. However, the prices of pork meat has hit a record high as a result of increased costs and a limited supply.
According to China Daily, pork cost 27.67 yuan ($4.30) a kilo the previous week, which is even higher than the previous high of 26 yuan seen in 2008. The report which cited Feng Yonghui, chief analyst of Soozhu.com, an online pig market monitoring and analysis service also said that live pigs cost 18.57 yuan ($2.87) a kilogram (kg) by the end of the third week in June, and the peak in April 2008 was 17.2 yuan a kg.
Sky-rocketing prices until end of the year The report added that the prices will keep rising until the end of the year and that there is no price regulation in site for now.
Corn makes up 60% of pig feed, with this in mind, Feng added that “Corn is the biggest force driving the prices of pork and live pigs higher and it reached a record high in March, before the pig and pork prices did.” Also, labor costs are another concern as this is also playing a role in the increase of pork prices. “The cost of labor went up by about 20% year-on-year. Migrant workers earned about 2,000 ($309.00) yuan a month last year, and their monthly wage is now between 2,500 and 3,000 yuan,” Feng said.
According to Feng, the import pork is not the solution in helping to solve the current price issue as it may only sustain the country for a very short period of time.
With the increase of pork prices, consumers may turn to alternatives to meat – like buying more vegetables. This has also raised concerns as this could relay another price increase of vegetables.