China’s market has been hit by African swine fever, boosting the demand for British pork, procurement company Beacon has claimed.
Beacon supplier Bidfood has uncovered that, so far this year, German and Dutch bacon suppliers have seen a rise in orders from China, following the swine flu outbreak in Africa, which impacts herd numbers.
Reports from Brakes, another Beacon supplier, suggest that one third to half (30% to 50%) of Chinese pig farms have been affected by the outbreak, which has increased pig prices across the world.
Germany has been reducing herd numbers by about 100,000 pigs per week, leaving them unable to single-handedly supply China during the flu crisis.
This has contributed to the rising cost of pork, with the market increasing by 38% in the past four weeks, Beacon has claimed.
Beacon food buyer Ben Charles said: “Brexit has been a driving force behind the price of pork throughout the first quarter of 2019, but the outbreak of African swine flu has mounted pressure on the market.
“The current increased demand that faces European suppliers makes it increasingly likely that prices will continue to rise throughout the rest of the year.”
Meanwhile, wholesale foodservice price inflation is still increasing month on month, partly due to a rise in the cost of fish.
Much of the increase has been down to the difficulties in the North Sea, where bad weather has prevented boats from reaching key fishing grounds and reduced catches.
The latest edition of the Foodservice Price Index from CGA and Prestige Purchasing has looked at foodservice data drawn from 7.8m transactions per month.
The research said fishing vessels have already been limited to lower quotas for cod and haddock over the past year and recent weather conditions have only compounded the impact and, as a result, there has been a high level of inflation when compared to the same time last year.
Fruit prices have also remained high but the index predicted this will ease as we move into spring and summer when the UK’s reliance on imports reduces.