Pricey pigs to strain Christmas budgets

The traditional Christmas ham, centrepiece of the annual Swedish Yuletide smörgåsbord, is set to eat into the present budget this year, butchers are warning, with prices for the delicacy at record high levels.

Increased prices for imported meat combined with reduced Swedish production means that the average julskinka will cost a whopping 75 kronor per kilo in supermarkets – 15 kronor more than it would have cost five years ago, according to Scan, the largest meat producer in Sweden.

Sweden’s meat industry had expected a fall in pork production of 2-3 percent, but in the third quarter it fell unexpectedly by 5 percent. Industry experts told Svenska Dagbladet that they were baffled by the fall, although Åke Rutegård at the Swedish Meat Industry Association called for the current review of rules about pig farming units to be speeded up.

“New investment in pig stalls is at its lowest ever level,” he said.

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