Perhaps Majorca should have a vegetarian Christmas instead. | Archive

There are not enough Majorca-produced suckling pigs to satisfy demand over the festive period. At the annual lunch in Sineu for black pig breeders, the message was that the lack of pigs will mean that if fifty are ordered, it will be possible to supply only thirty.

The shortage is affecting both black and white piglets. The president of the Balearic porcine association, Antoni Mestre, attributed this to the closure of some breeding operations over the past few years. At present, he noted, there are 6,400 sows for white pork whereas there was double this number three years ago.

The breeding operations ceased because the price for suckling pig was slipping below production costs. Mestre himself has suffered losses - around 20,000 euros last year. Another farmer pointed the finger at wholesalers, who have not been valuing the product and have been paying producers below cost price.

Pep Martorell, owner of the restaurant at Rancho Grande in Son Serra de Marina, where black pigs are bred and fattened and then served at the restaurant, said that there won't be any suckling pig for Christmas itself because the stock has been exhausted. He does expect, though, that there will be supply shortly after Christmas.

The price of suckling pig has naturally been affected by the shortage. For white suckling pig, the price has gone up from 47 euros last Christmas to 51 euros this year. For the black pig it is up to 55 euros.