Higher meat prices seen as typhoon pops corn supply
The country’s corn inventory was cut by more than half in September following the onslaught of Typhoon “Ompong,” leading some traders to assume this may affect meat prices in the market.
Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) monthly inventory report, the Philippines’ corn stocks as of September stood at 531,000 metric tons (MT), down 62.66 percent from last year’s record. Consequently, this is also lower by 56.54 percent from the previous month’s level.
Corn is the primary ingredient in manufacturing animal feeds. A supply shortfall may eventually bring meat prices up.
Ompong has left more than 200,000 hectares of corn lands destroyed, leaving in its trail a production loss of more than half a million ton.
The average buying price for yellow corn—the variety used for animal feeds—is still considered high at P14.80 a kilogram. Compared to last year, this is higher by 28 percent, although it is slowly stabilizing from previous levels.
National Federation of Hog Farmers chair Chester Warren Tan said in a phone interview producers were still capable of absorbing the additional costs, especially with the approved importation of corn this year.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has given the go-ahead to bring 300,000 MT of corn into the country to address the demand of poultry and livestock growers for their feeds.
“Corn prices are still high but the good news is, it’s been declining for the past two weeks, although we’re hoping it would still go down further,” Tan said.
Tan said, however, that with the flawed market value chain in the country, traders might still opt to sell meat at higher prices due to speculation.
Ideally, farm-gate prices of food items like pork and poultry should be the basis of retail prices in the market, but this is not the case. The presence of traders and middlemen have distorted the value chain, since the former are left to decide on the prices.
In Metro Manila, a kilo of ham and liempo are currently selling at an average P220 and P240, respectively, while a whole chicken is at an average P150.
Inquirer calls for support for the victims of typhoon Ompong
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