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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Pork could become cheaper – but not by much

Among the 37 products whose prices have been reduced in supermarkets, there is no fresh meat yet. The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, in his last televised address, said that the state will also deal with this issue in the coming period, as previously announced.

Can meat, whose amounts in certain categories, such as pork, reach record sums, soon become cheaper?

Back in June, when this issue was raised for the first time, representatives of the meat industry said that meat prices had reached their maximum and that there would be no new increases, but neither would they become cheaper. They noted that from 2021, the price of meat has increased by 50 percent until that period, and that the reasons are the same in Serbia and in the European Union – the reduction of livestock.

Meanwhile, with the spread of African swine fever, the situation in all markets further worsened, and prices continued to rise. However, representatives of the meat industry told “Politica” at the time that there is a possibility for stabilization and price reduction from autumn.

– The point is that we have turnover because it does not suit anyone that goods remain unsold in stores. In the coming period, I expect prices to stop rather than decrease in price. I think that in this situation with the high price of pork, there will simply be a redistribution in consumption. More chicken meat and turkey will be consumed because those categories are currently cheaper – Nenad Budimović, secretary of the Livestock Association at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, told our newspaper.

Although the price of fodder is falling for producers, the high price of energy is an important item.

– The big thing is that the state announces that from January 1, diesel will be cheaper for farmers. I don’t think it will solve all the problems in animal husbandry, but it might help. Unfortunately, meat prices are going up and consumers are used to it – said our interlocutor.

When we talk about swine fever, he notes that we have to live with it, but also make a little better strategy regarding food production.

According to him, it is evident that Serbia lacks a sufficient number of fattening animals, but due to lower consumption, this lack is not felt so much at the moment. Budimović emphasized that not only is there no cheap meat in Europe, but there is not enough of it.

Vukoje Muhadinović from the “Topola” meat industry noted that the price of pork mostly depends on external factors, that is, what will happen in Europe.

– As things stand at the moment, I do not expect a drastic drop, only a minor reduction of 20 to 40 dinars per kilogram is possible. Because of the African plague, the whole of Europe is in trouble. With the decrease in livestock, there is no room for lowering prices – said Muhadinović.

If the disease is slowly stopped, as it currently seems, he believes that this can guarantee market stability and less price reduction. It also confirms that there is a decline in consumption in this sector.

– Around 35,000 pigs have been killed so far. It is realistic to expect a lack of domestic raw materials, which will leave the price at a high level. And it is not even in Europe. The focus should be on restoring domestic production, but I don’t know how. There were many proposals – emphasized our interlocutor.

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