Pork prices have been going from record to record for several months. Indeed, there are fewer and fewer in France and their food costs more, said Wednesday the statistical service of the French Ministry of Agriculture (Agreste). The average price of pork rose in April to 2.52 euros per kilo of carcass at the entrance of the slaughterhouse, "an unprecedented level," says Agreste in a note of conjuncture. "It is up 35.4% year-on-year and 54.7% compared to the 2018/2022 average," the service continues. Pork prices, which were 1.43 euros per kilo of carcass in January 2022, have risen almost continuously for a year and a half, with the exception of a decline last autumn. "The decline in European pork supply and the increase in production costs are the main causes of this price surge," Agreste said in another note also published on Wednesday. "As a result of the contraction of the French sow herd", slaughterings fell further in April (-4.9% over one year).
Read alsoHow farmers adapt to reduced meat consumption
Pork consumption is stable
In twenty years, the France has seen a 36% drop in the number of sows raised on its soil to produce pigs that will be transformed into ham, sausages and rillettes. Mechanically, the total pig population has also decreased, but to a lesser extent (-21% since 2002), since each sow gives birth to more piglets thanks to genetic selection. The reduction in livestock accelerated in 2022 due to soaring production costs, particularly for cereals. At the same time, pork consumption is stable or even increasing, resulting in higher prices and imports.
The France is the third largest producer of pigs in Europe, behind Spain and Germany. It exports pieces little consumed by the French (breasts, offal ...) but imports hams to make white ham and is also fond of Italian and Spanish sausages.