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· Pork prices expected to double during Dragon Boat Festival as Hong Kong slaughterhouse reopens following swine fever shutdown
· Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse reopens after ASF-triggered cleanup
Pork prices expected to double during Dragon Boat Festival as Hong Kong slaughterhouse reopens following swine fever shutdown
Phila Siu, South China Morning Post
via Yahoo News - 6 June 2019
The price of pork is expected to more than double at Hong Kong’s markets on Friday with the meat in high demand during the Dragon Boat Festival and the city’s main slaughterhouse reopening following a shutdown caused by African swine fever.
The government shut Sheung Shui slaughterhouse last Friday night, its second closure in a month, after health authorities detected the virus in a dead pig. The animal had been imported from Meizhou in the mainland Chinese province of Guangdong.
Thousands of pigs were culled and the slaughterhouse was then cleansed and disinfected. It was reopened on Thursday morning.
But traders complained that fewer pigs were being imported to Hong Kong than usual. According to the government, only about 1,400 pigs passed through the abattoirs on Thursday. Of these, 1,000 were from the mainland and 400 were local pigs.
The privately owned Tsuen Wan slaughterhouse remained open during the past week, allowing a small number of butcher stalls in markets to stay open.
Before the closure of the Sheung Shui slaughterhouse, about 4,000 to 5,000 local and mainland Chinese pigs would be available in Hong Kong each day, traders said.
Pigs would not be available in markets and shops until Friday because of the time it took to slaughter them.
“Pig supplies from the mainland will gradually return to normal,” said Hui Wai-kin, head of the Pork Traders General Association.
Local and mainland Chinese pig traders needed time to get the business back on track after the suspension on the first day and thus fewer mainland pigs were imported on Thursday, he added.
Mainland Chinese traders, frustrated at the sudden closure of Sheung Shui slaughterhouse, also contributed to the drop in supply.
“Imagine traders on the road delivering pigs to Hong Kong and you suddenly tell them not to come. You cannot blame them for having second thoughts about doing business here. They may as well sell the pigs on the mainland,” Hui said.
At Smithfield Market in Kennedy Town, all eight butcher stalls were closed on Thursday.
Butcher Simon Leung was at his stall to prepare for the pigs that would arrive on Friday.
He said the pork prices charged by the suppliers had more than doubled. For 100kg of pork, the suppliers were charging about HK$3,000 (US$383). He decided to buy about 50kg, half of what he would normally get from the suppliers.
“I will lose money if no one is buying … Seriously, I might change my profession,” he said. “I have been idle for so many days. I just cannot afford to do nothing all day.”
Another butcher stall nearby had remained open recently as the store bought its pork from the Tsuen Wan slaughterhouse.
The butcher, surnamed Lau, said prices from his suppliers had more than tripled to HK$4,000 per 100kg. He had no choice but to almost double his selling price, raising a catty of pork from HK$68 to HK$128.
Lau complained the government had not compensated butchers for the “significant” loss of business they suffered when the slaughterhouse was shut down last month. Rent for his stall was more than HK$100,000 a month.
After spending HK$98 on a bag of pork for the Dragon Boat Festival, customer Tong Pui-shuen said: “The price is insane”...
Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse reopens after ASF-triggered cleanup
Hong Kong Economic Journal/EJ Insight
Jun 6, 2019
Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse resumed operations on Thursday after authorities undertook massive cleanup and disinfection work in the wake of a second African swine fever (ASF) case at the facility in a month.
The slaughterhouse had been closed since last Friday after a pig brought in from mainland China was confirmed to have African swine fever.
Following comprehensive cleansing work, the government has put in place additional measures to guard against the virus.
Authorities reached an agreement with the live pig supply trade to make sure all hogs on site will be slaughtered within 24 hours of import, in order to minimize the risks of infection.
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will together implement a series of further measures to prevent the African swine fever.
The government said it is in discussions with China’s General Administration of Customs and the hog importers to resume mainland live hog supply as soon as possible.
The chairman of the Pork Traders General Association, Hui Wai-kin, said...