Bacon Prices Soar As Post Brexit Demand From China Increases

BaconFlooding in China has led to increased demand for pork imports, driving up prices

  • Price hikes of as much as 38% for smoked bacon
  • Brexit and fall in the strength of the pound has also affected prices

25 August 16: The price of a British bacon sandwich could be about to soar due to increased demand from China and the impact of Brexit, according to Beacon, Britain’s leading purchasing company, which represents around 2,000 independent hospitality and leisure businesses.

In the first six months of 2016 exports of British pig meat have increased by 40,000 tonnes, compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, over half of EU pork exports – 1.2m tonnes – have gone to China, a 60% increase on the same period last year . The surge in Chinese demand has been fuelled by recent floods, which have devastated the Chinese domestic pork industry, and the devalued British pound post-Brexit that has made British bacon more attractive and affordable to import.

The Chinese spike in demand has meant the price of a pack of British smoked bacon in the UK has seen some suppliers increase their prices by as much as 38%.

Beacon, which works with a range of butchery suppliers and manages over £100m in purchasing spend for its customers, reported an increase in price of up to 19% per pound for bacon products, which they predict will continue for the foreseeable future.

The bad news continues for British food staples with the price of chips set to rise following currency issues and continued flooding in Europe, resulting in inflationary pressures. Beacon is predicting this will impact crop quality, quantity and therefore price.

Emma Warrington, Senior Food Buyer at Beacon comments:

“The combination of such huge demand for British pork from China and the devaluing of sterling following Brexit is impacting our breakfast tables. Figures from our butchery suppliers show the price of British bacon rising, in some cases substantially, with data from Birtwistles showing that the spike in demand was equal to an additional 30,000 tonnes in the first six months of 2016. All of this means we might be paying a higher price for a bacon sandwich for the foreseeable future.”