Pork Prices Soar In Spanish Supermarkets

Reduced Pork Production leads To Higher Prices In spain

Pigs pictured in a farmyard. Credit: janecat/Shutterstock.com

Amidst rising costs and declining production, pork prices in supermarkets have surged, making it the most expensive meat on the shelves.

In Spain, a leading producer within the European Union, the price of pork has risen by 12.9 per cent over the past year, as reported in July 2023. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) reveals a consistent pattern of increases each month in 2023, reports El Español.

Decline In Production

The root of this price hike lies in Spanish farms, where production has plummeted. Agricultural organisations have highlighted a stark reduction in supply, with pig slaughters dropping by nearly 7 per cent from January to July 2023 compared to the previous year.

This downturn resulted in just 30.6 million animals processed, equating to 2.8 million tonnes of pork – a 4 per cent decrease from 2022.

Skyrocketing Operational Costs

Miguel Angel Higuera, from the Asaja pork sector, paints a grim picture of the situation. ‘We have absolute difficulty in maintaining production and the discouragement on the part of the farmers is significant,’ he says.

Higuera cites several reasons behind the industry’s challenges: the Russian invasion of Ukraine driving up feed costs, severe droughts affecting water supplies, and complicated bureaucratic processes which have hampered farmers.

Exports And Market Dynamics

Despite a decline in exports – 5.9 per cent less than the previous year – Spain continues to sell a substantial 54 per cent of its pork abroad.

Jaume Bernis from the COAG pork sector predicts a 3 per cent decrease in production by the end of 2023, contrasting with the previous growth trend of 5 to 7 per cent annually.

Interestingly, while China, a major importer, has reduced its imports, other countries like the Philippines, Japan, and Korea have increased their purchases.

Impact On Supermarket Shelves

These factors culminate in a significant impact on consumers. Pork is now 12.9 per cent more expensive than last year, a rise more pronounced than other meats.

For comparison, lamb and goat meat prices increased by 10 per cent, beef by 5.7 per cent, and poultry saw a modest 2.4 per cent rise. This escalation occurs in a climate where overall food price growth has moderated, increasing by 9 per cent in November, half a per cent less than the previous month.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.