Imports, low demand depress farm-gate prices of hogs
The easing of pork importation and the usual decline in purchases during the rainy season have dragged down the farm-gate prices of hogs, industry groups said.
Moreover, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the government’s imposition of a price ceiling on pork to rein in prices further discouraged local producers from reinvesting in hog raising.
Price surveys conducted by the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) showed that farm-gate prices of hogs as of end-June decreased by between P20 to P30 a kilogram across regions against rates in May, or when President Duterte ordered to raise the import volume that were slapped with lower tariffs by 200,000 metric tons and slash the pork tariffs to a low of 5 percent from a high of 40 percent.
In Luzon, prices ranged from P200 to P220 a kilo; Cebu, P140 to P150 a kilo and Mindanao, P165 to P175 a kilo.
“Normally, during the rainy season, the consumption of pork slows down, so farm-gate prices also decline. Of course, the volume of frozen imported pork also contributed to the decrease,” said Edwin Chen, president of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines and of Bounty Farms Inc.
The decline in farm prices, however, has yet to be reflected in prices in the markets. As of July 12, prices of local pork ham and pork belly ranged from P340 to P380 a kilo, still due largely to the significant decline in domestic supply.
Sinag chair Rosendo So said the trend in prices showed that only the importers had benefited from the President’s twin measures of reducing tariffs and raising import volumes.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.