December: About the Pork Market in Theses


— supply/demand: Expectations for more active pork trade in the run-up to the winter holidays were largely unfulfilled, market operators stated. Thus, the revival of sales was noted by some operators «in isolation,» while others noted an increased level of competition among both chilled pork suppliers and live pork suppliers. In particular, in December, processors noted a greater supply of pigs for slaughter, in particular from «seasonal» feeders who tried to sell livestock fattened for the holidays, often in heavier than usual slaughter conditions.

«The more restrained activity of both representatives of deep meat processing and end consumers disrupted the typical course of price fluctuations on the eve of the winter holidays,» stated Oleksandra Bondarska, an analyst at the Association of Ukrainian Pig Breeders.

— During December, the purchase price of slaughter pigs lost 13%, decreasing from 70.7 UAH/kg to 61.5 UAH/kg. The average purchase price in December amounted to 67.2 UAH/kg including VAT (56.0 UAH/kg excluding VAT) or USD 1.82. USD/kg (USD 1.51/kg excluding VAT, respectively) in foreign currency equivalent. This is down 5.1% or 3.61 UAH/kg including VAT compared to November.

— Imports of pork (UKTZED 0203) in December amounted to 345 tons with a total value of USD 1.07 million. THIS IS ALMOST TWO TIMES LESS THAN IN THE PREVIOUS MONTH. This is almost half as much as a month earlier and compared to December 2022. Total pork imports in 2023 amounted to 13 thousand tons, which is 3.6 times less than the volume of pork imports from abroad last year.

— retail prices for pork in December «sank» for the third month in a row: the average mark of the month amounted to 202.7 UAH/kg, which is 1.7 UAH/kg or 0.8% cheaper than in November. Chicken and beef, on the contrary, went up by an average of 0.4% and almost 4%, respectively, compared to the previous month.

— Seasonal trends: after the winter holidays, a decrease in purchase prices for slaughter pigs is a typical trend, the key reason for which is a decrease in consumer activity against a relatively stable supply. Thus, in previous years, the average purchase price of pork in January was 2−9% or 4.4% lower on average than in December, with, says Oleksandra Bondarska:

"However, given the unusual price fluctuations, not all processors believe that prices will behave traditionally this winter. In particular, some of them believe that as processors' carry-over stocks decrease and 'situational' players leave the market, the pressure on prices will decrease. However, the limited market capacity, seasonal lack of reasons for a surge in final demand, and the first signs of a gradual recovery of the industry, which may become more noticeable in the future, will remain significant market factors."

The Association of Ukrainian Pig Breeders is a non-profit, voluntary organization founded by Ukrainian pork producers. The main purposes of the association are representation and protection of rights and interests of farms of the association, assistance in development and introduction of new technologies for efficient production of pork, expansion of sales markets, and protection of domestic sales market.