After several months of turbulence, Ukraine sees a partial recovery of demand in the pork market among wholesale customers, the association of Ukrainian pig farmers reported.
“The last trade in February were marked by a revival of demand from a part of procurers and, accordingly, by positive price dynamics. This week, pig farmers sell animals to slaughterhouses at UAH 67-68 ($ 1.83 – $ 1.86) per kg, which is UAH 2-3.5 per kg ($ 0.05 – $ 0.1) higher than a week earlier,” the association estimated.
Currently, most Ukrainian pig farmers see a rise in purchases from regular, former and new buyers.
In the past several months, Ukrainian pig farmers had difficulties selling their pigs. To some extent, this was due to power outages caused by Russian strikes on the Ukrainian power infrastructure. The outages forced slaughterhouses and meat-processing plants to switch to a partial operation. Most facilities managed to establish backup power-generating capacities.
Ukraine spent several weeks in February without outages however. Herman Halushenko, the Ukrainian Energy Minister, said at the end of February, Ukraine planned no more outages to ration electricity if there are no new strikes. He added that the country was even able to amass some power reserves.
New strikes hit the Ukrainian energy grid on March 9. This provoked a wave of new outages in several regions. In most cases, the outages were quickly over.
In addition, mass migration and economic turmoil undermine the demand in the Ukrainian retail market, though the exact figures remain unknown.
There are signs that Ukraine currently experiences a shortage of live pigs. The pig farmers’ association reported that wholesale buyers currently place orders for additional consignments, which they could not source due to the lack of free production quantities. Low demand from slaughterhouses might cause a drop in the pig population across the country during the past few months.
“Some representatives of the processing industry confirm that it was not easy to buy pigs in the desired volume, so there was a lack of supply,” the association reported. So far, only the wholesale segment has bounced back.
At the same time, the pig industry in Ukraine notes that retail sales dynamics do not yet indicate a revival in demand from end consumers. This creates additional pressure on chilled pork prices. The additional demand for pigs from slaughterhouses is due to the more active procurement of raw materials for the needs of deep meat processing.