Pig Roast’s Price Stay Stable for Chinese New Year, Vendor Says

PHNOM PENH – Being one of the most indispensable offerings for the Lunar New Year, the price of pig roasts remains unchanged before festivities start. 

Cambodian people of Chinese descent will celebrate the new year from Feb. 9, with the official date set on Feb. 10.

Lang Nikmouy, a pig roast seller at Phnom Penh’s Orussey Market, said the price of pig roasts remained the same compared to last year as the price of live pigs has not changed much.

“Although the price remained constant, I noticed some people now prefer ordering pig roast online due to its lower price without further consideration of the quality of the meat. I also sell roast pigs online but I can guarantee the price and quality is the same to those who come to buy physically,” Nikmouy said.

“I don’t know where some online shop’s pigs come from as the price is much cheaper than what I sell. My pig roasts range from 500,000 riel (around $125) to 1,000,000 riel (around $250) from 3 to 10 kilograms respectively.” 

These few weeks, Nikmouy has received more than 50 orders from customers. 

“There are many pig roast vendors now so I do not expect a lot more orders. But I think I’ll receive some last-minute orders on the celebration day,” she said.

Nikmouy said what makes her pig roast delicious is that she mixes honey with salt and chili pepper. Those ingredients have made her products tastier. It takes about three hours to roast a pig entirely, Nikmouy said.

Srun Pov, the president of the Cambodian Livestock Breeder’s Association said there will be only a slight increase in the price of pig roasts during this upcoming celebration. 

“If there were no frozen meat imports, the price of live pigs would rise significantly from 8,000 riel to 12,000 riel per kilogram”, he said.

“The current price now ranges from 8000 riel to 9000 riel per kilogram, making not much revenue for the farmers as the production costs have risen when the live pig cost around 6,000 riel before. 

“The price will increase and the situation will go back to normal once the six-month ban imposed on frozen meat imports starts from Mar. 12 to Sep. 12,” Srun Pov said. 

The ban on several types of frozen meat was introduced in mid-January to protect Cambodian livestock farmers, who complain that the price of imported frozen meat makes their production uncompetitive.

Av Nonn, a masterful Feng Shui teacher in Phnom Penh said pig roast holds great significance in Chinese culture as it will bring happiness and good fortune to each household for the coming year. 

“Those who cannot afford pig roast due to its higher price can turn to other alternatives like chickens or ducks. They can also be good offerings to the ancestors,” Av Nonn said. 

In addition to Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, he said pig roast is commonly offered during business openings, weddings, the Hungry Ghost Festival, and other spiritual celebrations to bring good fortune and blessings from the ancestors. 

Cambodians of Chinese descent are now decorating their houses to honor their ancestors and enjoy a family gathering. 

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