Pork imports seen doubling in 2021
The country’s pork and chicken imports are projected to increase this year as traders remain optimistic on the gradual reopening of the economy and with the coming holiday season and election year seen to increase people’s spending.
In a report, the US Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) said Philippine pork imports might rise by 95 percent to 500,000 metric tons this year from 256,017 MT last year, while chicken imports might log a 4-percent increase to 420,000 MT.
In terms of production, pork output is likely to remain flat at 1 million MT as the threat of African swine fever (ASF) and the pandemic persist. Poultry output is seen to increase slightly to 1.36 million MT as some livestock players continue to migrate to poultry to evade losses.
The USDA-FAS said the “dual crises” of the coronavirus pandemic and ASF impacted both sectors in terms of the availability of supply, demand for their products and the consumption patterns of Filipinos.
It cited industry contacts as saying that the recovery of the livestock industry might not happen until 2024, prompting players to stay on the safe side by tempering repopulation efforts and migrating to poultry raising. “While some [livestock] commercial farms have started to repopulate to maintain their business, producers have generally remained cautious absent a commercially-available vaccine,” the USDA said.
It added that the recent ASF outbreaks in Cagayan Province and Ilocos Norte that led to production losses were offset by active repopulation efforts of a few commercial pig farms in Tarlac. Thus, the stable production forecast.
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