Singapore’s demand for pork “saves our bacon”: WAPPA president

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Aidan SmithCountryman
Australia's pork industry is booming thanks to Singapore demand.
Camera IconAustralia's pork industry is booming thanks to Singapore demand. Credit: Supplied by Australian Pork

Singapore’s need for fresh pork has created a boom time for the Australian industry with some Eastern States producers entering four-year contract deals into the market for the first time.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics quarterly report on livestock slaughtered and meat production for the first quarter of 2023 highlighted the impact of African Swine Fever found in Indonesian pork carcases supplied to Singapore, to the Australian industry.

The ABS reported the gross value of Australian pigs slaughtered in the March quarter increased 4.9 per cent to $420 million.

Pigs slaughtered increased 5.6 per cent to 1.5 million head, while pig meat production for the same period increased 5.9 per cent to 117,512 tonnes.

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National pig slaughtered and produced figures reveal boom time for Australian industry.
Camera IconNational pig slaughtered and produced figures reveal boom time for Australian industry. Credit: supplied/supplied/ABS

WA Pork Producers Association president Graeme Dent said pork was going into the Singapore market “from everywhere” because of the high demand for thousands of tonnes every week.

“I’ve heard that some Eastern States pork producers have entered into four-year contracts to supply Singapore, which is something that has never happened before,” Mr Dent said.

He said the demand far outstripped the production capability of Western Australian producers as well as the capacity of the State’s single export licensed pork abattoir at Linley Valley.

Mr Dent said Singapore’s demand for fresh pork made all the difference to the local industry as it struggled through January to April with processing issues.

“What saved our bacon was that Singapore wants our pork,” Mr Dent said.

“They need thousands of tonnes a day.

“We were in dire straits from January to April because of staffing issues due to the long weekends and holidays.

Cuballing pork producers Graeme and Andrea Dent.
Camera IconCuballing pork producers Graeme and Andrea Dent. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Mr Dent said all producers wanted was a stable long-term market to provide some certainty to the industry and because of Singapore’s proximity and demand for fresh pork it was a good fit if exporters could turn the situation into a long-term gain for producers.

“We should nurture the relationship we have at the moment and turn it into a long-term gain for the industry,” he said.

“A stable market is good for our producers.

“We want to know we have a home for our pork.”

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