Pork Surplus Likely to Soon Turn to Shortage

THAILAND - Pork could be harder to find starting in January, as pig producers are now rushing to sell their live animals for short-term profit in order to avoid risking greater loss from the floods.
calendar icon 16 November 2011
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Prawit Asanatham, president of the Pork Traders Association, said the present oversupply has seen the price of live swine drop to 53 baht a kilogramme on average and as low as 40 baht in some areas.

Wholesale pork price is priced at 100 baht a kilo and retail pork at 120-130 baht, reports Bangkok Post.

Last month, live swine went for 57 baht a kilo, while pork was sold for 110 baht wholesale and 130-140 baht retail.

Mr Asanatham said the severity of any shortage will depend on government policy, especially that involving the control of live swine exports.

"If the government can keep these exports at an appropriate level, then there may be a shortage in flooded areas, but it won't be too severe overall," he said.

Regarding the distribution of goods, Santichai Santawanpas, a deputy director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said modern-trade operators are in the process of recovering their distribution centres now that the water has started to recede in Ayutthaya's Wang Noi district.

Private operators have also rented space in several areas to serve as distribution centres, so the department expects improved goods distribution in the coming days.

The department found no shortage of goods in traditional grocery stores and family-run shops, as they source products directly from suppliers, but consumer behaviour has changed more to buying from modern-trade operators, said Mr Asanatham.

So far, 40 consumers have called the department's 1569 hotline to complain about high prices, especially for eggs and drinking water.

Mr Santawanpas said the department has coordinated with drinking-water producers upcountry to supply more products in Bangkok.

The Layer Farmers Association will supply more eggs to modern retail chains, which require a million eggs a day. Suchat Sinrat, director of the department's monitoring and operations division, said supplies and prices of construction materials and cleaning equipment will be watched closely, as these will be in high demand for renovations once the floodwater subsides.

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