Trouble in the pork market is reflected in MLC economist Tony Fowler's latest farm to retail price spread calculations, showing a significant narrowing of the gap from 55% to 52.7% between March and May. As Fowler points out, the spread was almost 63% in January. Retailers could use these figures to demonstrate producers have not been the only victims of market instability, although the farmers might ask awkward questions about imported pork wholesale prices. Spread trends for the other meats are not surprising, beef retail prices moving with the cattle market, lamb showing evidence of supermarkets' cautious approach to the new season crop (although the May spread was much narrower than at the beginning of the year, as for pork) and bacon basking in consumers' appreciation. {{MEAT }}

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