A shortage of live pigs in Ukraine spurs retail pork prices

Photo: Henk Riswick
Photo: Henk Riswick

Ukraine has experienced a steady rise in wholesale and retail pork prices since early September, primarily driven by a shortage of live pigs across the country, the Ukrainian club of agricultural business (UCAB) reported.

The average retail price of pork in the country climbed by 5.9% in August, compared to the previous month. This was due to a lack of pigs in slaughter weight, Maxim Gopko, analyst of UCAB, told the local news outlet RBK-Ukraine. He added that the shortage of live pigs has become even more visible in September.

Hostilities impact pig farms

In January-July of 2022, 393,000 pigs were slaughtered in Ukraine. This was 11.6% less compared to the same period of the previous year, the state statistical service estimated. The biggest decline is seen in the segment of individual farms of citizens, where the number of live pigs delivered for slaughter slumped by 16.7%, Gopko said. “In areas with active hostilities, many pig farms have been hit by shelling or are unable to fully function,” Gopko said.

$ 27.6 billion in damages

These figures are in line with the Kyiv School of Economy assessment published in July of 2022. At that time, Ukraine’s agriculture was estimated to suffer $ 27.6 billion in damages from the Russian invasion. The country’s livestock population was expected to drop by as much as 25% in some segments, as thousands of animals were killed during shelling, and died from a lack of feed in the areas of hostilities.

Low feed prices

According to Gopko, the average price for pork in slaughter weight in Ukraine in August was UAH 152.8 ($ 4.2) per kg. This was 25% higher compared to the same period in the previous year. This figure would likely be way higher if not for the unprecedentedly low feed prices observed on the Ukrainian market due to the oversupply of grain.

“It is worth noting that if feed prices had not decreased, then the price of pork would have been at least 20% higher. We can thus assume that the price we have today is not critical,” Gopko said, adding that the price will likely go further up in the months ahead.

Import offsets low domestic production

From the domestic market perspective, a drop in domestic production is offset by rising imports. Since the beginning of the year, Ukraine imported 70% more pork than during the same period of the previous year, Gopko said, adding that import supplies help stabilise the market.

ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world


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