Hong Kong pork retail price jumps to $20
Hong Kong authorities are currently looking for pig suppliers in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia and Thailand to fill the gap created in live pigs after the number of animals imported from mainland China has decreased sharply in the last months. Usually, Hong Kong imported about 4,000 pigs per day to cover the demand from processors. Due to the dramatic reduction in China's pig herd and the ASF situation in the country, the number of live pigs imported has dropped to 1,700 creating a shortage of pig meat on the island and pushing up prices to levels never seen before.
According to Reuters, retail price for pork in Hong Kong is now HK$159 ($20.31) per kg and Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan admitted that the region must import live pigs from other countries such as Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia. "As importation of live food animals entails public health and food safety considerations and the outbreaks of African swine fever in the neighboring countries are emerging, we have to exercise caution," declared the official. South Korea has been hit by African Swine Fever just a couple of months ago, while Thailand and Malaysia are currently free of the disease. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department also plans to visit Singapore next month to learn about its rules on importing live pigs from Malaysia by sea.
Statistical data presented by the USDA shows that Hong Kong consumes almost 550,000 tonnes of pork per year.