Pork is a staple of the Chinese diet, their basic protein. And pork is becoming priced out of the reach of most Chinese. This has the potential to become more than an inconvenience, it could be the bellwether of the next period of real hunger in China. Meaning that it could become the tinder for the next Chinese revolution.
For us? The price of an iPhone could increase by 25%. I can survive that.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Xiao Tong, a vendor who has been selling pork for nearly 20 years in Beijing. “Every day the price rises more.” Prices are so high that not only retail customers, but businesses can no longer afford to buy pork: she said even her longtime clients, such as local restaurants and construction companies, are trimming purchases.
Making matters worse, another major spike in prices is coming once short-term inventories are depleted. Chenjun Pan, a senior analyst at Rabobank in Hong Kong, said storage levels of frozen pork seem to have also fallen in recent months.
Meanwhile, China’s pork imports have jumped more than 60% in the second quarter, but foreign supplies have been constrained or are more expensive, especially with Chinese tariffs on US products. Beijing levied new tariffs totaling 50% on pork from the U.S. last year and in June suspended pork imports from Canada.
After posting this and taking another look (especially the chart ) , the thought occurred to me; “Now, THAT’S a hockey stick!”