Pork price jump threatens Christmas joy

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 2nd December 2015

PorkPork prices have jumped around Australia, but a question mark surrounds the course of the latest pork price rise. There is speculation as to whether rise is an opportunistic flow-on by butchers and processors in response to previously reported hefty increases in beef and lamb prices.


With Christmas approaching, pigs have been selling for record saleyard prices of at least 400c/kg.


“Demand for pork has been steadily rising and in the lead up to Christmas continues to rise as people buy their Bone-in leg hams and roasts with crackling. With demand strong, it’s no surprise we’re seeing some increased prices. We encourage everyone, from trade buyers to those buying for their families, to order their ham and pork roasts early,” said Peter Haydon, General Manager of Marketing, Australian Pork Limited


As previously reported, Australian domestic beef prices have more than doubled over the past 12 months with drought hitting Australian farms hard. Strong international demand has also helped push up the prices.


Beef prices


Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has said it is expecting the annual cattle slaughter for 2015 to hit an unprecedented high, in line with the record figures experienced over the past three years.


“This will be the third consecutive year of cattle slaughter exceeding eight million head, something that’s never been seen before. As a result, beef production is estimated to reach 2.46 million tonnes cwt – which will be the second highest volume ever,” said Ben Thomas, Manager of Market Information for MLA.


Lamb prices


Lamb prices have remained high across the entirety of 2015. International demand, weather and the low Australian dollar have been blamed for the high domestic lamb prices in Australia.


In the MLA’s third quarter update for 2015 it stated:


“After six months, the national light lamb indicator (12-18kg cwt) averaged 527¢/kg cwt, up 10%, the restocker indicator (0-18kg cwt) was up 9% at 531¢/kg cwt, while heavy lambs were only 1¢ higher than the same period last year, averaging 554¢/kg cwt.”