USDA: ASF not done hurting pork production in PH
MANILA -The deadly African swine fever (ASF) will still make a dent in Philippine pork production this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA, in a report, lowered its pork output forecast to 925,000 metric tons (MT) from 975,000 MT as ASF continued to spread in the Central and Western Visayas region, including Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Aklan.
According to the agency, the two regions were the largest producers in 2022 “following the decimation of swine inventories elsewhere in the country.”
Amid the reported recoveries in Calabarzon, Central Luzon and Ilocos Region, the USDA does not see the ASF vaccine manufactured in Vietnam to influence this year’s pork production.
“Prospects of an ASF vaccine have recently improved following reports of successful local trials, but even in a best-case scenario, such a vaccine would be unlikely to materially impact on 2023 production,” the USDA said.
Importation of pork was estimated at 500,000 MT, a downward revision from 560,000 MT due to “significantly” lower trade year-to-date and high carry-over stocks.
It noted pork trade declined by 39 percent to 89,264 MT in the first quarter of 2023 from 145,785 MT in the same period a year ago. Most imported pork came from the European Union, accounting for 36,557 MT of the total.
Citing industry contacts, the USDA is expecting pork imports to pick up in the coming months.
The USDA also retained its local chicken production projection of almost 1.48 million MT amid the prevalence of bird flu. INQ