Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Prices of meat, poultry products expected to rise

Consumers are expected to face higher prices of meat and poultry products in the coming days as the livestock and poultry industries suffer from rising corn prices amid the tightness of the local supply of the crop.

Corn is the primary ingredient in manufacturing animal feeds, accounting for 50 percent of the millers’ raw material requirement.

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Over the past two years, the feed manufacturing industry preferred using local corn because of its good quality and competitive pricing. However, with the rising prices of local  corn and the tightness of supply, the industry is now importing feed wheat as an alternative and corn from Indonesia

Corn prices in Bulacan and Isabela are now P18 to P19 a kilo, from P13 a kilo just two months ago. Landed price of feed wheat in Bulacan is about P13 to P14 a kilo.

According to Roger Navarro, president of Philmaize Federation Inc. (PFI), feed wheat importation has been on the rise as unfavorable weather conditions in corn producing provinces resulted in a drop in production.

“Isabela, which should be harvesting corn now, is doing a re-cropping because the farms were hit by extreme heat and rains. Bukidnon and Cotabato should be harvesting in August and September, respectively, but planting has also been delayed,” he said.

Data from the  Philippine Statistics Authority showed the country’s corn production this quarter declining by 3.76 percent to 2.18 million metric tons from 1.33 million MT in the same period last year as farmers shift to planting other crafts.

Navarro said that under the worst case scenario, the livestock and poultry industries might not have their corn this quarter since many farmers did not plant the grain this season.

To address the expected shortage by the third quarter of the year, Navarro said local feed millers and members of the livestock sector had also started importing corn from Indonesia.

About 500,000 to 1 million metric tons (MT) of corn are expected to come from Indonesia, given its huge production surplus estimated at 4 million MT. The excess in supply in Indonesia has made importing corn from this country cheaper compared to buying locally.

In a phone interview, United Broilers Retailers Association president Elias Jose Inciong said producers were still able to absorb increases in corn prices now but this might change by the start of the third quarter.

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Retail prices of poultry and livestock products are currently stable, said Inciong.

As of last week, the average retail price of chicken is P160 a kilo, while beef rump and beef brisket are at P325 and P290 a kilo, respectively. Meanwhile, pork liempo and pork ham are being sold at an average of P240 and P220 a kilo, respectively.

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