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  • RP imports additional pork and poultry for Christmas
    October 09, 2009

    from: Business World




    PORK AND POULTRY meat imports will arrive in the country starting mid-November until mid-December, the Agriculture chief said yesterday.


    The additional imports are expected to augment stocks in preparation for the increase in demand during the holiday season.


     "Our pork import volume, which is initially 20,000 metric tons, will come in Nov. 15 to Dec. 15," Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap told reporters at the sidelines of the Agrilink, Aqualink and Foodlink expo in Pasay City. He added that imports might go up to as much as 30,000 metric tons (MT).


     Mr. Yap said the local hog industry, which has been suffering from diseases for the last one-and-a-half years, cannot provide the local demand in the holiday season.


     Sought for comment, Renato R. Eleria, chairman of the National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc., said "the 10,000 MT might be more than enough for the shortage."


     "We feel that the government needs to monitor supply...that figure is too high," he added.


     Furthermore, poultry meat imports are also expected until Dec. 15.


     "We are looking at 4-5 million kilograms (4,000-5,000 MT) for Nov. to Dec. 15 arrival also with the private sector participation," he said in Filipino.


    Poultry meat will be sourced "mostly from the United States and Canada...it is much cheaper there," Gregorio A. San Diego, Jr., chairman of the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA), said in an interview.


    The UBRA allowed the additional imports, citing a possible shift in consumption to poultry from pork given an expected tight supply.


    The pork and poultry imports are on top of the minimum access volume (MAV) allocation, which allows imports at relatively lower tariffs.


    Industry data show that about half of the 23,490 MT poultry meat and 54,210 MT of fresh, chilled and frozen pork under the MAV scheme have yet to be imported.


    Of the P8-billion damage by tropical depression Ondoy (international codename Ketsana) and typhoon Pepeng (international codename Parma) to the farm sector, the livestock and poultry sector incurred a total of P42 million of losses in infrastructure and death or loss of about 12,530 heads of livestock and 84,221 heads of poultry, official data showed.


    Hog output, which accounts for a tenth of total farm production, contracted by 1.6% last year to 1.886 million MT, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) show.


    Meanwhile, production of the poultry sector, which accounts for 11.26% of total farm output in the country, rose by 4.71% to P46.65 billion last year, based on BAS statistics.