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Continued Inflation in Retail Pork Prices

8 September 2017, at 12:00am

UK - In the 12 weeks ended 13 August, volumes of fresh and frozen pork sold decreased by 5 per cent year-on-year, according to data provided by Kantar Worldpanel, writes Annie Linekar, AHDB Pork's trainee analyst.

However, average retail prices increased by 9 per cent on the year, leading to a 4 per cent rise in total spend on primary pork products during the period.

This increase in spend may indicate that demand for pork products is relatively stable, with consumers willing to pay increasing sums for lower quantities of meat.

Volume sales of roasting joints fell once again on the year in the 12 weeks ended 13 August. As noted previously, this may be partially attributed to price inflation and a reduction in retailer promotional activity. In particular, the volume of shoulder roasting joints sold decreased by 15 per cent year on year.

Sliced cooked meat remained one of few pork products to decrease in price year on year, albeit marginally (-0.4 per cent). However, a rise in volumes sold (4 per cent) led to total spend increasing by 3 per cent on the year during the period. Despite a price growth of 1 per cent, bacon remained fairly constant, with sales rising by nearly 1 per cent, leading to total spend increasing by almost 2 per cent year-on-year.

Against widespread red meat price inflation, pork mince bucked the trend by falling 7 per cent in average price. Nonetheless, a 26 per cent increase in volumes sold led to total spend increasing by 18 per cent on the year. This may be attributed to customers switching from higher priced beef mince, with the price difference between the two products increasing to £1.25/kg during the period.

The picture for other meats was mixed. The average price of primary beef products increased 3 per cent year on year in the 12 weeks ending 13 August, while the volume purchased and total spend decreased by 4 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. For primary lamb, the volume sold during the period fell by nearly 10 per cent on the year, with total spend declining by 7 per cent.

Conversely, the volume of poultry products sold during the period increased by 3 per cent leading to a 2 per cent rise in total spend. Average retail prices for poultry resided at slightly (-0.4 per cent) lower than year earlier levels during the period, and within the context of rising red meat prices, is likely contributing to poultry’s ever growing popularity.

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