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Pig Price Driven Down by Imports

by 5m Editor
27 August 2008, at 10:08am

UK - The discounters - Aldi, Lidl, Netto - have been increasing their market share as the economic climate continues to worsen. In a bid to staunch the flow of customers to cheaper supermarkets, the major retailers have been raising the profile of their economy lines.

This is not good news for the domestic pig industry as, with the exception of shoulder joints, most of the pigmeat is imported. However, economy lines represent only a small share of total pork sales.

According to BPEX, economy bacon is usually a mixture of British and imported as it tends to comes from the ends of the loin that fall outside the specification for standard bacon. It is almost never labelled as British.

Retailers are currently attempting to drive down the pig price by making big play of the fact that pork sales are down six percent over the same period last year.

However, Britain is far from self-sufficient in pork and pork products. So the message to be taken from retailers is that to control the price they will cut back on British rather than imported product.

BPEX’s marketing team has pointed out that in comparing current sales with the same period last year, retailers are not comparing like with like.

Last summer was (believe it or not) both wetter and less sunny, and as a result all meat showed higher sales, as consumers turned to more substantial meals.

To emphasize this point, this summer’s pork sales have been ahead of 2006, when the summer weather was more summery.

As for the outlook, it is expected cash-strapped consumers will increasingly eke out their shopping budgets by returning to home-cooking, in place of more expensive ready-meals and convenience-meals. This suggests an increase in meat consumption during the months ahead.

5m Editor