H1 meat imports up by 4.3% on strong pork craving
The country’s first semester meat imports rose by 4.3 percent, with pork comprising more than half of the volume, latest figures from the government showed.
About 600.1 million kilograms of meat entered the country from January to June, higher than the 575.1 million kgs imported in the same period a year ago, based on data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
Pork remained the main driver of meat imports as its volume climbed by 15.7 percent to 321.5 million kgs, mostly pork cuts and offals.
The US Department of Agriculture last month raised its pork import forecast for the country to 400,000 metric tons from 375,000 MT previously, as the government decided to retain the lower tariffs on certain imported goods until the end of the year.
Former President Duterte had signed Executive Order No. 171, which extended the most favored nation (MFN) tariff rates for pork imports at a 15 percent for in-quota volume and 25 percent for out-quota volume until end-December. The annual quota stands at 254,210 MT.
Extending the imposition of lower tariff rates is meant to ensure enough supply and to keep prices in check amid supply constraints arising from the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war.
In Metro Manila markets, pork ham (kasim) is selling for P330/kg as of Friday, lower than last year’s P340/kg, based on the Department of Agriculture’s price monitoring.
Each kilo of pork liempo retails for P380, higher than P370 in the previous year.
Chicken comprised the country’s next biggest meat imports at 176.2 million kgs, down by 5.04 percent in the first six months. Deboned chicken was the main contributor among chicken items.
The government had laid out measures to stabilize prices of poultry products in the markets amid higher demand for chicken and seemingly low poultry production.
These include allowing inter-island movement from mainland Luzon of day-old chicks, hatching eggs and ready-to-lay pullets.
Shipment of day-old chicks and hatching eggs is allowed provided they tested negative for avian influenza 28 days from the date of sample collection.
In the case of ready-to-lay pullets, delivery is permitted as long as they tested bird-flu negative 14 days from the date of sample collection.
The BAI is working closely with partners from the private sector to regularly validate the broiler life cycle model.
To address high input costs, BAI director Reildrin Morales said agriculture officials would seek alternative sources of cheaper feed ingredients.
As of writing, the retail price of whole chicken is P200/kg from P150/kg a year ago.
Beef imports also dropped by 5.4 percent to 78.8 million kgs. Over half of the total comprised beef cuts.
Brazil was still the country’s leading source of meat imports, followed by Spain and the United States. INQ
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