PORK CHOP CHEAPEST SINCE 1999
The purchase price of pork is currently the lowest within the last five years, the Association of Pig Breeders announced. For several months now pork has been going down to reach the present level. According to the head of the Association Galya Buchvarova, in the first half of 2002 producers lost BGN0.50/kg of live weight, which will practically lead to liquidation of most of the small firms in the branch. Insiders complain that the decline of the purchase prices does not influence the retail prices. Almost the entire output of Bulgarian pig breeders is intended for the domestic market, a report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry shows. Export to the EU countries is impossible due to the fact that pigs in Bulgaria a vaccinated against plague and such meat and sausages are not accepted in Europe. If vaccination stops producers will suffer huge losses, Agriculture Ministry experts claim. Even if pigs are vaccinated no more, at least five years should pass before import of pork to the EU is allowed. In 1999 there was a similar drop in the purchase prices of pork, which were then in the range of BGN1.13-1.36/kg of live weight, but a steady upward trend began in the second half of 2000. In 2001 the average purchase price in the traditionally poor summer months for this product was BGN2.35/kg. In May-June, 2002 the price remained high - at BGN2.20/kg of live weight.Overproduction and the limited capacity of the domestic market are the main resons for the cheapening of pork. When in 2000-2001 meat producers got fair profits due to the high purchase prices they increased record high the number of the pigs they breed, experts comment. As the period for breeding is two-three years, today we have overproduction and low prices resultingly. When supply exceeds demand its normal for prices to go down, retailers in Sofia say. However, they reject the words of big breeders that retail prices have not decreased.