Thailand has banned exports of live pigs from January 6-April 5 to increase domestic supplies and combat high pork prices.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said there would be enough pork for domestic consumption. Thailand consumed 18 million pigs and exported 1 million last year but is expected to produce only 13 million this year.
Farmers and traders with more than 500 pigs and companies with cold storage facilities storing more than 5 tons of pork must report their stocks and prices to the Internal Trade Department every seven days.
Mr Jurin siad vendors will be required to display pork prices, to ensure the selling prices do not exceed the prices set by the Internal Trade Department.
Chaiwat Yothakol, Deputy Director General of the Department of Livestock Development told Asian Agribiz that pork demand has surged during the festive season and the country is facing a supply shortage.
Rising pork prices
Meanwhile, the pork price surge is driven by reduced pig production amid disease outbreaks and high production costs.
Surachai Sutthitham, Thai Swine Raisers Association President, told Asian Agribiz that live pig production has decreased 50% to 12-13 million pigs and live pig prices have risen 20% to USD 3.11/kg. Retail pork prices rose to about USD 6/kg.
Feed and biosecurity costs are expected to stay high this year, he added. Many small-scale farmers have quit the industry, while big companies continue to expand production.