Pig Auction Transparency Improves

by 5m Editor
8 August 2008, at 9:32am

HONG KONG - Information transparency in the live pig auction market has been improved, says the Consumer Council.

In the council's report released today, it said there is no direct evidence suggesting the competitive environment of the trade is hindered by restrictive practices or abuse of market power

However, a few live pig buyers with a small market share have been involved in aggressive bidding, which inevitably causes maximum auction prices to deviate from the average auction price in the wholesale market.

Welcoming the report the Food & Health Bureau said measures have been adopted since mid-January to further enhance market information flow and ensure a stable supply.

Stable supply

The bureau has kept close liaison with the Ministry of Commerce to ensure a stable supply. It has also enhanced market transparency by making public the quantity of live pigs to be supplied to Hong Kong in the following day. No unusual fluctuation in auction prices of live pigs has been detected so far.

On the council's suggestion of establishing a complaints handling scheme the bureau said a similar mechanism has been put in place.

The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department and slaughterhouse operators regularly meet the trade to gauge views and handle complaints. The department will consider whether there is a need to further enhance the mechanism.

Slaughterhouse operation

The existing operation contract of Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse will expire by July 31. The department is drafting the tender document of the new contract and plans to conduct a tender exercise later this year.

It will include clauses in the new contract to enhance regulation of the slaughterhouse operation. It will also enhance regulation in the areas of fees, information provision and disclosure, as well as the system of sanctions and incentives.

5m Editor