Mangaluru: Consumers in coastal Karnataka are set to face a 16.6% hike in pork prices as piggery owners and meat suppliers have decided to increase the rate from Rs 240/kg to Rs 280/kg, effective November 13. This decision, described as the highest hike in recent years, is attributed to a drop in pork production and a tight supply of the widely consumed Duroc pig breed.
Piggery owners point out that the limited supply of Duroc pigs, along with increased costs of fuel, feed, and other necessities in piggery farming, has led to the significant price hike. The shortage of pork in the market began around three months ago when some piggery owners, fearing diseases, sold their entire stock, excluding piglets, to wholesalers. These wholesalers then supplied the meat to the northeastern states, where pork prices range from Rs 380 to 400.
Philips D’Souza, a piggery owner from Merlapadavu, highlighted the impact of this shortage, stating that piglets will take another six to nine months to reach butchering age, resulting in a continued short supply of pork. D’Souza, who also runs a catering business, mentioned that he now sources meat from Udupi for food preparation.
Vincent Fernandes, a meat seller with two decades of experience, emphasized the scarcity of the Duroc breed, indicating that prices are expected to rise further to Rs 350 per kg in Mangaluru within the next month. He added that even the limited pork supply available in Mangaluru is being transported to Bengaluru, which is also experiencing a shortage, leading to higher prices.
The surge in pork prices is anticipated to impact not only individual consumers but also catering and food industries, prompting considerations of increased food order rates in response to the rising costs.