Poultry industry fears losses from chicken imports
MANILA -The poultry sector and its allied industries could lose billions of pesos as importation of chicken is expected to reach “another record high,” the United Broiler Raisers Association (Ubra) said.
“Historically, we import more chicken in the second half of the year than in the first half,” Ubra chair Gregorio San Diego said in a poultry forum held in Quezon City.
San Diego, also the chair of the Philippine Egg Board Association, warned that the poultry industry could incur losses if importation spirals out of control.
The country bought 289.52 million kilograms of chicken overseas in the first eight months of the year, up from 35.4 percent from 244.8 million kg in the same period a year ago, data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) showed. This was in contrast to the decrease in pork and beef purchases from abroad between January and August.
The volume of imported chicken that entered the country is equivalent to 35.4 percent of the 817.35 million kg of meat imports during the reference period.
Moreover, the volume is equivalent to 70 percent of 411.07 million kg of imported chicken recorded in 2022.
Displacing local output
Chicken importation is seen to displace local production, which is estimated at P58.29 billion covering 299.366 million broilers and P9.14 billion involving 315.122 million day-old broilers.
The sector is seen to incur P756.29 million in losses if 2.52 million broiler breeders would be displaced while losses in sales from by-products (head, feet, intestine and blood) are seen to hit almost P6 billion.
San Diego also said the continued entry of imported chicken could affect 31,512 poultry workers alongside and job cuts in feed milling, trucking and dressing plants. One caretaker is employed per 10,000 broilers.
Losses in feed sales are seen to hit P4.88 billion, while losses in feed ingredient sales are seen to reach P11.89 billion for corn; P8.15 billion for soya; P4.48 billion for coconut oil and P1.13 billion for rice bran.
Veterinary products such as disinfectants, vaccines vitamins and antibiotics are seen to incur P3.62 billion in losses while dressing plants are seen to lose P2.99 billion worth of business.
In the same event, Agriculture Undersecretary Deogracias Victor Savellano unveiled the Department of Agriculture’s plan to raise domestic production of livestock and poultry by five times in five years.
“Recommendations from various sectors of our agriculture are currently being heard and studied on what, where and how government actions are to be applied to boost our poultry sector,” Savellano said.
“We have started to meet with stakeholders to strategize a common direction and priorities in order to significantly increase our local food production, making it efficient, robust and profitable for farmers,” he added. INQ