If greater access to domestic pork markets was to open up for SA producers due to the African swine fever outbreak, local supply capacity and export challenges could restrict the benefits, according to T&D Pig Marketers agent Garry Tiss.
Mr Tiss said producers would require nine to 12 months to increase pork production to help support greater local ham and bacon demand.
"If ASF impacts retailers' ability to import pork into the state and they had to stock local products, there simply would not be enough to fulfill the market," he said.
"Producers have lost trust in the industry - so to take a risk and increase production, producers would want water-tight contracts to ensure the gains actually happened."
Mr Tiss said China's outbreak would not necessarily benefit SA's pork producers on a global scale.
"We cannot export fresh pork to China so we will not be able to help fulfill their protein shortage - we are locked out of that," he said.
"Pork producers have had no benefit since the outbreak and I would say domestic beef and lamb prices have made huge increases because of exporting to China."
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Keyneton pig farmer Shaun Blenkiron's business survival depends on supplying domestic markets and he hoped by the end of the year, increased pork prices would be passed onto producers.
"Although we are not making the massive gains that lamb and beef are - the high costs have been passed onto the consumer and made pork a cheaper protein," he said.
But Mr Blenkiron believed the "middleman" might not be passing on the immediate price increase to local producers.
"Are wholesalers holding back and not passing on the gains? Their prices have increased but not the producers'," he said.
"If we were able to export to China too and help fulfill the shortage, we would be able to benefit from the shortage as much as everyone else is."
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