A representative of the pork trade says even though wholesale prices of pigs have dropped significantly in recent months, this may not immediately be reflected in the market because retailers have to cover increasing costs.
Wholesale prices of pigs went down by more than 40 percent on the mainland in September, leading to a drop in price in the SAR as well.
But speaking on an RTHK programme on Thursday, Hui Wai-kin, head of the Pork Traders General Association, said the wholesale price stands at around HK$20 per catty, but since shops have to pay for increasing slaughter and transport costs, the cost adds up to around HK$50 per catty.
He said the average retail price is HK$70, so the difference isn’t really that great.
Hui added that it takes time to adjust the retail price.
“The trade always believes pork is a necessity for the people. We have to take care of their daily need of food. So, we try to maintain a stable price,” he said.
“In 2019 when the African swine flu hit, supply from the mainland dropped and the price surged. Did we follow immediately? No. We followed slowly as the market got used to it. This time when the price drops, we can’t cut the price by 30 percent at once, we do it gradually,” he explained.