July 29, 2019
Philippines' poultry sector in danger of depending too much on imports
Small and medium scale poultry farmers in the Philippines could stop producing birds and turn to imports as competition intensifies due to the entry of imports, the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) warned.
"In the long run, especially the small and medium scale producers, if we see that we cannot survive anymore and join together, we might as well go into importation, no more production, because that's the priority of the government," UBRA president Elias Jose Inciong told The Philippine Star.
"We have tried for decades to convince the government that imports do not benefit the consumers but they do not believe us. So we will follow their lead, they want importation, we will just import," he said. Inciong argued that the notion that imports benefit consumers is a misconception.
In addition, the Philippines' pro-import policy has been blamed for the tight situation the local poultry sector, with its limited resources, is facing. Inciong perceived the government's shift to more imports as "a matter of revenue generation," with local poultry production suffering a loss.
Meanwhile, a combination of a supply glut and increased import has kept local farmgate prices down. Latest data from the National Meat Inspection Service revealed that dressed chicken inventory is at 33,655.18 tonnes, up nearly 50%.
Of the figure, more than half or 19,906.79 tonnes were imported while the remaining 13,748.38 tonnes were locally produced.
Farmgate price is now at PHP80 (US$1.57) per kilogram from the PHP114 (US$2.23) per kg in June, which was the peak for the year so far. However, retail prices have been steady at a high of PHP150-170 (US$2.94-3.33) per kg even when farmgate prices have fluctuated in the last months.
- The Philippine Star