If you like pork, stock up quickly

It looks like pork prices are set to skyrocket in the very near future, just as availability plummets.  That goes for bacon, sausage, and other pork products, too.

The price of pork around the world is set to soar as the outbreak of a deadly virus sweeps China and surrounding countries necessitating the cull of millions of animals.

. . .

In China, as was the case in Britain at the height of the BSE crisis, entire herds of animals are having to be killed and burned or buried in an effort to contain the disease.

Mongolia, Vietnam and Cambodia are also fighting outbreaks and the disease has also been reported in wild boar in Eastern Europe and Germany.

Denmark is erecting a 43-mile fence in a bid to keep out infected animals and customs officials have been placed on high alert in Britain and across the European Union.

Since the virus was first reported in China in August last year more than a million pigs have been culled globally and international wholesale pork prices have climbed by as much as 20 per cent.

“African swine fever will be the biggest influence on global meat markets possibly for the next few years, if not possibly the decade,” said Tim Ryan, a Singapore-based market analyst with trade group Meat & Livestock Australia. “I don’t think there’s going to be enough meat around the world available to actually fill the gap.”

China is the single biggest consumer of pork in the world and even in normal times has a near-insatiable appetite for the product.

Now with 20 and 30 per cent of its livestock lost, it is turning to international markets to fulfill demand.

It’s pork imports – which mostly come from the European Union, Canada and Brazil – are expected to surge 40 per cent to 1.7 million tons this year, before increasing to 2.1 million tons in 2020, the China Daily newspaper reported, citing a report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in Beijing.

. . .

… Chinese pork production is set to reduce by about 13 million tons this year – about the same amount of pork that the US produces every year.

There’s more at the link.

This may affect medicines, too.  Insulin, heparin, and other common medicines and compounds are made from pigs, among other sources.  The ripple effect of rising demand for pork could be substantial, particularly if Western herds become affected.  Imagine what might happen if US pig producers had to cull their herds.  Prices might double or triple within weeks.

Just a word to the wise.  If you like pork products, and expect to use a lot of them, you might want to buy now and invest in a freezer.



  1. Assuming that the virus can be kept away from American farms this will be a boon to US pig farmers.
    What's truly scary is the threat that the virus finds its way into the feral hog population that is now infesting the southernmost states.

  2. "…you might want to buy now and invest in a freezer".
    Impossible! Not in my tiny micro-size apartment unit.
    I'll just have to quit ordering ham with my breakfast at Waffle House.

  3. Or just look around your area for local farmers who raise their own and would be happy to sell any extras they have. For a lot of small scale farms / homsteads that's what keeps everything going. If you live near Central Florida we'll have 6 ready to go to the butcher in a couple months.

  4. Wait… Denmark is putting up a 43 mile fence, just like that? No political arguments or fights about money? I get that a 43 mile fence to keep animals out is not what we’re talking about in the US, but if they can just throw that up like it’s nothing, then shouldn’t we, after two and a half years, have made SOME progress on our barrier to keep Mexicans out?

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