By Tiffany Hsu
1:10 PM CDT, September 24, 2012
Might want to get your fill of ham this year, because "a world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable," according to an industry trade group.
Blame the drought conditions that blazed through the corn and soybean crop this year. Less feed led to herds declining across the European Union “at a significant rate,” according to the National Pig Assn. in Britain.
And the trend “is being mirrored around the world,” according to a release (hat tip to the Financial Times).
In the second half of next year, the number of slaughtered pigs could fall 10%, doubling the price of European pork, according to the release.
The trade group urged supermarkets to pay pig farmers a fair price for the meat to help cover the drought-related losses.
In U.S. warehouses, pork supply soared to a record last month, rising 31% to 580.8 million pounds at the end of August from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The surge came as farmers scaled down their herds as feeding the animals became increasingly expensive.
In July, global food prices leaped 10% from the month before, according to the World Bank. Maize and wheat jumped 25% while soybeans rose 17%.
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