Covid-19 special: How is coronavirus affecting the pork market?

Apr 28, 2020, 06:00 AM
In this episode, we hear from two of our market analysts about the impact of coronavirus on pork markets, both in the UK and around the world.

Pork demand has fared better than some of the other proteins, with an uplift in supermarket sales compensating in some way for the loss in the foodservice market.

However, fresh pork sales have dropped in more recent weeks and we are beginning to see a build-up in stocks of shoulder and belly, much of which would usually go into foodservice.

Global prices
There has been a fall in hog futures and farm gate prices in the US, and the loss of foodservice has had a much bigger impact on the US market than it has in the UK. A number of major US processing plants have also closed, which is putting pressure on their market. Despite these issues, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage in pork, so when the processors and foodservice markets re-open, there could be an oversupply. This will probably result in competition for the Chinese market.  

UK and EU processing plants
On the whole, processors have remained open and there have been very few reports of difficulties.

Outlook for the economy
The outlook for the economy remains uncertain and no one knows what ‘normal’ will look like after the pandemic. However, based on China’s experience, there probably won’t be a sudden resurgence in eating out once restrictions are lifted.

More information
For information, guidance and support during this pandemic, visit our dedicated web page:

We’re tracking GB retail sales of pork, beef, lamb, dairy and potatoes on a weekly basis to help the industry understand how shopping behaviour is changing. Find the latest data at:

For the latest industry data, analysis and insights visit our pork market page:

On 22 April, we launched a new pulled pork campaign to support sales of pork shoulder. Find out how you can get involved:

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