Rising Pork Prices in Mexico Blamed on PED

MEXICO - Outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) are reported to be widespread across the country and are being blamed for rising pig meat prices.
calendar icon 17 April 2014
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PED outbreaks have spread to Mexico, where producers admit that there are cases "in virtually all states," according to Noticieros Televisa.

The animal health authority, Senasica, says surveillance indicates that the disease is present in only one per cent of the country. Meanwhile, experts warn that the market is nervous and pork prices are rising, which is already reflected in increases of up to 40 per cent in wholesale prices of pork, both from Mexico and imported from the US.

The representative of the US Meat Export Federation, Aaron Turner Gutiérrez, said that PED is affecting the US market, which is reflected in futures prices indicate a jump of 59 per cent for April compared to last year, 36 per cent in May and 23 per cent in June. This means that "markets are expecting a massive drop in production," he said.

Mr Turner Gutiérrez reported that Mexico imports pork shanks from the United States, so yes they may cause deterioration in prices, both parts and sausage products, especially in the second and third quarters of this year.

He added that price increases for consumer are likely but he denied that there is an intention to create a shortage of pork in the market.

Meanwhile, the chief director of Senasica, Enrique Sanchez Cruz, said PED is present on some farms in Mexico - in the states of Jalisco or Guanajuato - but said the cases are isolated and not widespread.

According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa), the number of positive samples represents less than one per cent of the 16 million pigs in the country, reports Noticieros Televisa.

Senasica explained that there are 101 notifications of suspected PED cases, resulting in 2,070 laboratory samples, of which 760 samples were found to be positive for the virus.

The report adds that Mexico produced 1.28 million tonnes of pig meat in 2013. In 2012, the value of pork produced was more than MXP40 billion.

Exports in 2013 amounted to 84,407 tonnes - an increase of 50 per cent compared to 2012 - with a total value of US$385 million.

The main producing states are Jalisco, 18.5 per cent; Sonora, 18.1 per cent; Puebla, 9.5 per cent; Guanajuato, 9.3 per cent and Yucatan, 8.4 per cent. There are 789,000 farms rearing pigs in Mexico.

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