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Relax, the Great Bacon Shortage of 2012 Is a Myth


High feed prices mean more pork, not less.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Earlier this week, the Internet went temporarily insane over news that a "bacon shortage" was in the offing.

"Start Hoarding Now: A Global Bacon Shortage is Coming," screamed Time magazine.

"Global Bacon Shortage 'Unavoidable,' Group Says," warned CBS News.

Others descended into panic over the "Aporkalypse."

Thing is, there's no bacon shortage. And there won't be one anytime soon. But, as Shawn Hackett, a money manager specializing in agricultural commodities says, the issue is far less black-and-white than what millions of Twitter users made it out to be.

"There's nothing binary about livestock; there are always a lot of moving parts," Hackett tells Minyanville. "It's not as simple as that. But there's not going to be a shortage of bacon anytime soon."

It all started with a September 20 press release from Britain's National Pig Association, a trade group that describes itself as "Fighting for the growth and prosperity of the British pig industry."

"Europe's pork and bacon supply is contracting fast," it began. "New data shows the European Union pig herd is declining at a significant rate, and this is a trend that is being mirrored around the world. Pig farmers have been plunged into loss by high pig-feed costs, caused by the global failure of maize and soya harvests."

The NPA continued:

"British supermarkets know they have to raise the price they pay Britain's pig farmers or risk empty spaces on their shelves next year," said NPA chairman Richard Longthorp. "But competition is so fierce in the high street at present, each is waiting for the other to move first."

"In its Save Our Bacon campaign, NPA is asking shoppers to make a point of selecting pork and bacon with the British independent Red Tractor logo, as an increase in demand for British product now may help persuade supermarkets to act before it is too late."

This, says Hackett, is the crux of the "issue" created by the NPA.

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