April 6, 2004



Hong Kong Pork Sellers Reluctant To Raise Prices


Pork sellers in Hong Kong are reluctant to increase prices despite an 8 per cent rise in wholesale prices by importers.


The wholesale price for fresh pork from mainland farms has recently increased from around $850 for 100 catties to $920.


However, a spokesman for the Pork Traders' Association said traders were reluctant to raise prices because they were worried about discouraging buyers.


It was difficult for meat stalls to compete with supermarkets, which could source their stocks at lower prices, he said.


"It is a basic business principle to adjust the retail price according to the fluctuation of the wholesale price. However, we are not able to do it or we would lose even more customers to the chain supermarkets if we raise the price now.


"We try to maintain the retail price and see how the things go," the spokesman said.


However, he did not rule out the possibility that some retail stalls might increase the price if they could not cover their costs.


More than 80 per cent of the fresh pork consumed in Hong Kong is imported from the mainland, representing about 5,000 pigs a day. Only 1,000 pigs are supplied by local farms.


Ng Fung Hong, Hong Kong's largest importer of live and frozen food from the mainland, could not be reached for comment.


The retail price of fresh pork is about $25 a catty.