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AFRICAN SWINE FEVER CUTS INVENTORY

Pork prices up sharply due to tight supply

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 05:00 AM October 24, 2020

Prices of pork in Metro Manila markets have gone up by as much as 38 percent on the back of tight supply—this as local hog raisers remain cautious of the African swine fever (ASF).

Based on price monitoring reports provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA), a kilogram of pork ham and pork belly are being sold for P300 and P320 on average. In other public markets, however, prices have peaked to as high as P320 and P360, respectively.

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These are 33 percent and 38 percent higher from prevailing prices a month ago, pegged at P240 and P260 a kilo, and are almost the same rates as a kilo of beef.

Bureau of Animal Industry Director Ron Domingo said the country’s swine inventory had already declined by 20 percent due to the viral hog disease.

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This is because local hog raisers have either slowed down production, harvested their hogs early or decided to abandon hog raising altogether.

While there is sufficient supply of pork in the Visayas and Mindanao, Domingo added that transport costs have pushed retail prices up.

Prices to increase further

Importation remains an option for the sector to temper local prices, but global pork prices have also gone up given that other countries continue to struggle with ASF cases as well. As such, importers have also been conservative with their purchases.

Pork prices are expected to increase further in the coming months, factoring in the traditionally high demand for pork during the holiday season.

But according to Domingo, the DA has put in place several interventions to increase hog production.

“We’ve been helping hog growers in Visayas and Mindanao in ramping up their production. Areas that are affected with ASF are assisted if they would like to venture into raising other livestock animals. We also talked to some groups and we’re expecting the release of more pork in the market by December,” he said.

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TAGS: African swine fever, ASF, DA, hog raiser, Pork, Prices
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