Tel Aviv…If rumors that Poland, a major supplier of kosher beef, may enforce a ban on schechita, kosher slaughter, were not enough comes yet another threat, this time from China. According to Globes, a leading Israeli business publication, frozen beef importers in Israel are bracing themselves for price increases of 15-20%. Israel is already faced with a major shortage of beef. The main effect with China will be on frozen beef prices, with processed beef products being affected later. The rising prices are a result of an outbreak of African swine fever in China, which has increased the demand for beef in the country. The increase in retail prices is liable to be greater than the increase in wholesale prices.
Sources in the beef sector said that in meetings between South American beef suppliers and the major beef importers in Israel, suppliers from Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil made it clear that demand for beef in China had surged, after more than 200 million pigs had been destroyed in that country because of African swine fever.