The supply of live pigs from the Mainland last month was steady, averaging 4,122 per day - comparable to the supply in the preceding two months, and to that in December 2010 and 2011 - the Food & Health Bureau said today.
In response to media enquiries on the recent supply of live pigs from the Mainland, the bureau said 3,889 live pigs were imported today, and the average wholesale price ranged between $1,650 and $1,830 per picul.
Comparing the daily supply figures of live pigs from the Mainland in December of the past three years, it was noted there was a substantive drop in supply in the period surrounding Christmas and New Year's Eve, which might possibly be explained by the decreasing demand for live pigs locally after the Winter Solstice.
According to information gathered from wholesale agents, the new arrangement of having prolonged holidays before New Year's Day on the Mainland and the earlier snowstorms in some Mainland provinces, also affected the recent supply of live pigs.
Concerning the price level, the bureau said the average auction price for live pigs was $1,385 per picul for December. However, it noted there was a significant increase in the average auction price over the last few days.
Regarding the underlying considerations for the pricing of pork, the bureau had been previously advised by the trade that apart from the purchase cost, they would also take into account other operational expenses, such as transportation cost, salaries and rental, adding that the recent increase in the average wholesale price of live pigs was to a certain extent a result of the upsurge of auction prices in a few individual deals.
The price of live pigs also saw a rising trend recently on the Mainland and this would have a certain impact on the supply and price of the live pigs imported to Hong Kong, it noted.
To enhance market transparency, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department has made available on their website
information on the number and average auction price of live pigs imported from the Mainland every day for reference by the trade and the public.
The Government will continue to monitor the supply of live pigs and maintain dialogue with the trade and Mainland authorities, to secure a stable supply of live pigs, the bureau said.