South African pork prices have fallen more than a third in recent months, as demand for processed cold meats tanked in the wake of the deadliest outbreak of listeria in history. Cheaper pork will add to downward pressure on food prices, which have been slowing on expectations of a solid maize crop, helping to pull inflation in Africa’s most industrialised economy down to seven-year lows. The government traced the listeria strain responsible for the outbreak to polony from a factory owned by Tiger Brands. "The pork industry unnecessarily suffered a severe blow following the recent outbreak of listeriosis," said Paul Makube, senior agricultural economist at FNB Agri-Business. The outbreak is expected to have caused around R1bn in losses to the pork value chain so far due to the changes in consumer perceptions of pork, Makube said. Annual turnover in the pork industry is around R5.3bn and accounts for 5% of the value of livestock output. "Even though demand for processed and cold meats...

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