Pork imports may hit 500,000 MT

The Philippine Star


September 30, 2021 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is seen to increase its pork imports to 500,000 metric tons (MT) this year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In a report by its Foreign Agricultural Service, the USDA said it was adjusting upward its 2021 pork importation forecast for the Philippines anew to 500,000 MT from its earlier projection of 425,000 MT.

Latest figures from the Bureau of Animal Industry showed that pork imports reached 389.6 million kilos or 389,600 MT from January to August.

As part of the government’s effort to bring down prices and stabilize the supply of pork in the country, President Duterte issued in May Executive Order 133, which increased the minimum access volume (MAV) for pork meat to 254,210 metric tons (MT) for 2021.

Duterte also signed EO 134, which provides that in-quota pork imports or those under the MAV are imposed a 10 percent tariff for three months and increased to 15 percent in the remaining months. This is lower than the original rate of 30 percent.

Out quota pork imports are slapped with a 20 percent tariff for the first three months, which will be raised to 25 percent in the remaining months. This is lower than the original tariff of 40 percent.

Next year, the USDA is projecting pork imports to decline by 25 percent to 375,000 MT given the expiration of the additional MAV and the expected qt.

“The increased cost of pork is expected to result in a drop of 25 percent in 2022 imports compared to 2021,”the USDA said.

Meanwhile, the USDA is projecting local pork production to remain flat at one million MT carcass weight equivalent in 2022, citing reports from industry contacts that prospects remain uncertain amid continuing cases across the country.

“While some commercial farms have started to repopulate to maintain their business, producers have generally remained cautious absent a commercially-available vaccine,”the USDA said.

In April, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced that the BAI is collaborating with an unidentified US company and global animal healthcare company Zoetis for vaccine trials.

The USDA said the success of the vaccine trials would buoy local producers’ confidence in repopulation and boost domestic production.

“Industry contacts further noted that recovery is not expected until 2024,”the USDA said.

The DA said it has observed a drop in the retail prices of fresh pork.

Citing data from the DA’s Bantay Presyo Price Monitoring Unit, the prevailing price of kasim is now at P280 per kilo down from its peak price of P360 per kilo in January,.while liempo sells at P340 per kilo P60 cheaper than its peak price of P400 per kilo.

Frozen pork sold in wet markets continues to be cheaper by P60 per kilo compared to fresh pork at P220 per for frozen kasim and P280 per kilo for frozen liempo.

“However, only seven out of every 100 meat stalls are selling frozen pork in NCR wet markets as frozen pork requires chillers,”the DA said.

The DA said it projects a continuing downward movement of local pork prices at NCR wet markets.

“The retail prices generally follow the price movements of farmgate prices of hogs,”it added.

The DA said farmgate prices of pork have gradually declined since January 202, citing available data from hog producers.

“If the trend continues, the DA projects retail prices may return back to the price level of September last year,”the DA said.

The DA added that it will continue to assist pork producers to maintain this momentum and push the industry to sustain its repopulation and recovery.

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