Danes doing their groceries in Danish supermarkets may have noticed that during 2019 the prices on meat have increased – especially on products containing pork. The price of products containing pork meat has gone up a significant amount – just within the month of January there has been a price increase on 25%.
Few would know that the reason is a massive outbreak of swine fever on the other side of the globe – in China! As the domestic Chinese pork production has not been sufficient, China has imported more from abroad – among others from Denmark. And because the demand is so high, the Danish swine farmers have increased their prices about 60% more than this time of year in 2019.
In February 2019, 500 grams of combined pork- and calf meat cost in Denmark around 23,95 DKK ($ 3.53) in the supermarket chain Rema 1000. In October 2019 the same product cost 29,95 DKK ($ 4.41) – and in February 2020, it costs 36,95 DKK ($ 5.44). That’s an increase in 13 DKK ($ 1.91) – or 54%- in a year. And that could have drastic consequences for the Danish consumption of pork, according to Lars Aarup, director of sales analysis for the Danish retail business Coop.
“I can’t remember a time where we had a price increase at such a rapid pace before. That means the customers will eat more chicken than pork until the prices go down,” says Lars Aarup told the Danish daily BT.
And the Danes may have to do that for a long time, according to Henning Otte Hansen, senior consultant at the University of Copenhagen.
“The swine fever hasn’t passed, so nothing indicates there’s going to be a price reduction. I think the price increases will continue,” Henning Otte Hansen says.