The average wholesale price of pork in South Korea decreased nearly 40 percent in October from a month earlier, as consumers shunned the meat amid the outbreak of African swine fever here, data showed Saturday.
A kilogram of pork cost 2,969 won ($2.52) as of Friday morning, down 38 percent from a month earlier, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Compared with 2018, the price surrendered 24.1 percent.
The retail price of pork belly, one of the most popular parts among South Koreans, moved down more than 13 percent from a month earlier to 17,810 won.
South Korea has confirmed 14 cases of African swine fever at local pig farms since mid-September, when the country experienced its first outbreak of the disease.
The ministry earlier expressed concerns over a possible hike in the pork price here, as its quarantine officials had been culling pigs from a 3-kilometer radius of ASF-infected farms, leading to a tight supply. The number of pigs slaughtered so far due to the operation totaled 150,000.
Since the outbreak of the highly contagious disease, the local price of pork had jumped more than 30 percent but later lost ground as consumers avoided consuming pork despite the fact the deadly animal disease is not harmful to people.
The agricultural ministry and agricultural organizations have been urging the public not to avoid pork due to ASF.
"The ASF virus is only fatal for pigs, and people cannot be infected with the disease. It is completely safe for people to consume South Korean pigs," Nonghyup, a public agricultural cooperative, said in a statement.
The ministry plans to join ties with local supermarkets to offer discounts for pork and induce more people to consume the meat. (Yonhap)