In crude tonnage terms UK domestic pork supply prospects cannot offer much comfort to buyers. The year on year increase predicted by MLC economists for late 2001 will still leave production tighter than in the final quarter of 1999 and far smaller than the volume on the market in October-December 1998. On the face of it this is good news for importers. However, a combination of UK demand influences and external supply factors could cause discomfort for traders shipping product into this country. Pressures including weak prices for grain in North America, resilient production of pork on the continent and intensifying competition between the UK multiples (and major caterers) could result in a price downtrend almost everywhere well before British pig slaughterings start their next cyclical increase. {{MEAT }}

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