Thai Pork Shortage Prompts Switch to Chicken on Restaurant Menus
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Demand for chicken in Thailand is soaring as more diners opt for the meat, amid a severe shortage of pork that has seen prices double.
The Southeast Asian country’s pork supply has fallen around 30% after production was reduced over the past year due to Covid restrictions on dining and travel, measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever and rising feed prices.
That means more Thais are turning to chicken as a protein source, including restaurants known for their pork menus. Kaw Moo Rama 5, which is near Bangkok, said that it’s now selling almost only chicken dishes due to high pork prices. Other restaurants are raising the prices of their pork dishes or reducing portions.
Thailand’s Department of Internal Trade announced on Tuesday that it would freeze chicken prices for at least six months to keep food prices in check. In the longer term, the government said it plans to increase chicken and pork production to keep up with demand. Thailand last week imposed a three-month ban on hog exports to cool prices.
No similar measures have yet been announced for poultry. Thailand, a major exporter of chicken, produces about 2.9 million tons of the meat annually, with about 1.3 million tons consumed domestically, and any restrictions on exports would have a major impact on importers of Thai poultry.
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