STA, 24 November 2019 - Although no case of African swine fever has been recorded in Slovenia, pork prices in the country have risen by 10-12% this year as a serious outbreak of the disease in Asia has made global pork prices skyrocket. Slovenian meat producers believe the 10-12% rise will not suffice to cover the constantly rising producer price of pork.
The Slovenian Meat Processing Industry Association has told the STA that although indirect, the impact of swine fever on the Slovenian market is considerable.
Since demand for pork is rising, foremost in China, European exporters have reacted to the trend, so purchase pork prices have risen.
In the European market, they have been increasing since the start of this spring, with purchase prices of certain cuts of meat up by as much as 70% or more.
This has an impact on purchase prices in Slovenia, where pork self-sufficiency is relatively at only 30%.
The association says this situation could last for several years as there is no prospect China could contain the disease any time soon.
"The current situation shows how vulnerable we are due to the low self-sufficiency rate."
The Slovenian meat-processing industry could survive the crisis if meat prices do not lag considerably behind rising costs.
However, the situation could deteriorate if African swine fever, a highly contagious disease, breaks out in Slovenia, the association says.
The association also expects retail prices to rise sooner or later, bu the good news is that retail pork prices in Slovenia are now some 20% below the EU average.
However, leading retailers in Slovenia could not say exactly whether or when consumers can expect another rise in pork prices.
Lidl Slovenija says it increased pork prices for the first time at the start of this summer, by an average 10%.
It said its pork suppliers have notified it of rising producer prices but Lidl could not say how much or when its retail prices would go up.
Mercator, the largest retailer in the country, has told the STA it was just a question of time when retail pork prices will have to be increased.
Hofer, on the other hand, has not yet increased its retail pork price this year, and will make efforts for it to rise as little as possible.
Almost 1,790 cases of African swine fever were recorded in pigs and another 5,320 in wild pigs in the EU between January and mid-November, the most in eastern Europe.