Festive ham promotions have been hit by the retail switch to Every Day Low Pricing, leaving retailers unable to negotiate discount terms to facilitate bogofs or even multibuys.

Importers seem resigned to the change and will be watching year-on-year sales figures to determine whether the EDLP switch hits volumes.

There will be limited price promotions on own label and top quality lines where margins can be reduced to allow consumer incentives.

Meanwhile, as South American corned beef packers have cut back production, so the pressure on the ports has eased.

For the last six months shipments, particularly from Brazil, have been delayed as port workers struggled to clear the backlog of containers.

UK importers had been hit severely by containers missing vessels. Shipping companies insisted on maintaining schedules even though it meant boats leaving without a full cargo.