After China’s high-profile restrictions on the import of Australian beef, coal, wine and other goods, China’s domestic food prices began to fluctuate abnormally. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs’ monitoring of 500 trade markets across the country, the national price of mutton in the second week of December 2020 was 82.66 yuan per kg, up for eight consecutive weeks and 3.6% year-on-year.
At a mutton sales counter at a large fresh supermarket in Beijing, a salesman said the price for a leg of lamb was 60 yuan per kilo and the price for a slice of lamb was 55 yuan per kilo, according to CCTV. Mutton prices have been rising since late October and remain high. On the one hand, due to the increased demand for mutton such as barbecue and hot pot in winter, and on the other hand, it is also due to the tight supply. A person in charge of a mutton slaughtering company in Dezhou, Shandong province, told reporters that their slaughtering volume has increased by 50 percent since the beginning of winter, but they still can’t meet the demand of orders.
CCTV reported that the owner of a sheep farm in Dezhou, a major mutton producing region, said that orders for sheep were increasing, but there were not many sheep available for sale. Mutton sheep lamb prices have fallen sharply, in 2016 when the price fell to 10 yuan per kilogram, below the farmers breeding cost, in order to reduce the loss, many farmers slaughtered their rejected, mutton sheep breeding stock has fallen 30%, behind the market, and the sheep a long breeding cycle and feed rising labor costs, capacity recovery was slow. In Inner Mongolia, another major producing area for mutton sheep, it is reported that due to the increasing pressure of ecological and environmental protection and the expansion of forbidden grazing areas in some major producing provinces and regions, the cost of mutton sheep breeding has increased and the withdrawal of small retail investors has accelerated, which has also affected the growth rate of the stock of basic ewes.