Media coverage of price increases still distorting market Further softening of retail meat prices is visible in latest data from the MLC, though the evidence shows a nervous market rather than a sudden switch to heavy discounting across the board. Monday's MLC survey of retail outlets indicated prices for beef joints and cuts were mostly unchanged or cheaper by just a few pence per kilo, with 10p off premium mince the most significant reduction. Home killed pork and lamb prices were all over the place, reflecting the conflicting pressures on traders. Some quite substantial price increases were still coming through, as FMD interrupting pigmeat production on the continent and the very low numbers of lambs killed in Britain continued disrupting supply. On the other hand, the average price for pork loin chops dropped sharply. New Zealand lamb fillet end leg and cutlets were also much cheaper than a week earlier. Talk in the wholesale market is of major retailer customers becoming increasingly worried by consumer demand, with unconfirmed reports of the multiples seeing carcase beef sales drop 20% or more in some outlets. Media coverage of price increases in the early stages of the FMD crisis gave a false impression of the market and is perhaps still distorting perceptions, as the MLC hinted: "It should be noted that the retail price for beef is the same as if not lower than it was for the same period last year." {{M/E MEAT }}