High pork prices are taking their toll on both vendors and consumers, with prices having doubled in the past year, and calls are increasing for the government to step in.
Pork prices in wet markets have risen to 210 to 250 baht per kilogramme, depending on the cut - the highest in years. The price started to climb in May last year, from around 115 baht.
A ready-to-eat food seller at Kim Heng market in Muang district of Nakhon Ratchasima province who gave her name as Oy said on Tuesday she had replaced pork with chicken and fish on her menu to cut costs.
"I use chicken for my red curry with pumpkin instead of pork," she said, giving an example.
In the South of the country, at Trang municpal market, a butcher who gave her name as Niew also said her business was suffering from the high prices. Many regular customers had moved away from pork and were buying chicken because it was cheaper.
Both vendors wanted the government to step in and control pork prices, which were affecting sellers and consumers alike, they said.
Wattanasak Sur-iam, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said a meeting was planned for Friday with the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to find a solution to the problem, Matichon Online reported.
Preecha Kitthaworn, the president of the Southern Swine Raisers Association, has said the high prices of pork was due to a supply shortage caused by the spread of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrom (PRRS) since 2020.
Also, many pig farmers had opted out of the business because the rising cost of animal feed made it uneconomic, he said.
The Swine Raisers Association of Thailand reported on Monday there were now only 80,000 pig farmers nationwide, a drop from 200,000, because of the continued spread of PRRS in the herds and rising production costs. The association said many were left no option but to close down and look for other work.