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Why is the cost of pork and petrol rising so sharply in France?

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Why is the cost of pork and petrol rising so sharply in France?
Photo: AFP
11:50 CEST+02:00
In bad news for drivers who also like the occasional sausage, steep price rises have been revealed for both pork products and fuel in France.

The price of one kilo of pork at the Breton pork market in Plérin - where the price is used as an index for France - has risen 24 percent in the last six months.

A kilogram of filet mignon currently costs €21 at Carrefour supermarket, €15 at Leclerc or €14 at Auchan, according to a survey by French newspaper Le Parisien.

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Barbecue fans will notice a rise in the costs of pork sausages. Photo: AFP

Prices have been steadily rising since March, report French butchers, and the reason can be found on the other side of the world.

Pig farms in Asia have been decimated by swine flu, with 1.2 million pigs in China (20 percent of the national herd) dying of the disease or being culled.

China is among the world's biggest consumers of pork, with the average person eating 30kg a year, and the shortage of domestically produced meat has sent prices soaring.

Although most pork on sale in France is produced in Europe, the increased demand for European pork from Asia has seen prices rise sharply.

And the bad news is that the Asian swine flu outbreak is far from over.

"The price is not going to go down anytime soon because Chinese stocks will not be replenished anytime soon," says Pascal Leduot, director of the Plérin pork market.

And in more bad news for the wallet, the price of fuel is also rising in France.

A new study published by the French Environment Ministry shows that prices at the petrol pump have been rising sharply since the start of July.

In one week, the price per litre of diesel and unleaded at the pump increased by two to three cents.
 
Diesel, which still accounts for 80 percent of sales, now averages €1.4227 per litre, 1.93 cents more than in the first week of July.
 
The price of unleaded (SP95) increased by 2.89 cents to €1.5207. 
 
Only the super unleaded (SP98) saw a more limited increase, by 1.38 cents, to reach €1.5852.
 
And in further bad news, it seems that prices are unlikely to fall, at least in the short term, as the oil-producing Opec countries have been limiting exports in an attempt to avoid a price crash.
 
For drivers coming over from the UK the price of fuel in France is now slightly more expensive.
 
The AA's latest average fuel prices for the UK has unleaded at 128.4p per litre (or €1.424) while diesel is at 132.4p per litre (or €1.468). 
 
So anyone planning a holiday in France would be better advised to fill up before they cross the Channel, although with prices just a few cents lower you unfortunately won't be making massive savings.
 
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