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  • Philippine Hog output expected to drop
    July 13, 2010

    from: Business World
            http://www.bworldonline.com/main/content.php?id=14114&src=2

    LOCAL HOG production is expected to dip by 3% this year due to the lingering impact of damage to commercial and backyard farms caused by storms that hit late last year, an industry leader said yesterday.

    The government, on the other hand, expects at least 1% growth this year, citing the recovery of some backyard farms from storm damage.

    "We are expecting a shortfall in production for this year, around 3% decrease from last year because of damage caused by Ondoy and Pepeng last year," Albert R. T. Lim, Jr., president of the Pork Producers Federation of the Phils., Inc., said in a telephone interview.

    Mr. Lim explained that both commercial and backyard farms that sustained storm damage have not totally recovered.
    "The farms still need additional support from the government, especially for backyard farms," Mr. Lim said.
    He noted that about 70% of the swine population is raised in backyard farms.

    But Felix G. Valenzuela, interim director of the Livestock Development Council, an agency attached to the Agriculture department, said in a separate phone interview that he expects the industry to grow by at least 1%.

    "We’re expecting [the hog industry] to grow by at least 1% this year because of an expected recovery of backyard farms," Mr. Valenzuela said.

    Even though there is a projected shortfall in production, Mr. Lim said current supply should be enough to meet local demand because of a shortfall in demand felt by the sector this year.

    "There is also a shortfall in demand for pork, which is a good thing because of the shortfall in our production. Supply is sufficient for the local demand and we won’t be needing any imports at present," Mr. Lim said.

    Hog production slightly increased by 0.35% to 455,480 metric tons (MT) in the first quarter from 453,890 MT in the same period last year, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) show.

    The nearly flat performance was due to "lower stocks of fatteners and tight supply of piglets" in the Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions, BAS said.

    Hog production inched up by 1.07% to 1.88 million MT in 2009 from 1.86 million MT the previous year, BAS said. But 2008 actually saw a production drop of 1.6%, a decline the government attributed to mortality due to hog cholera.