October 20, 2011
Philippines' hog raisers appeal for duty-free corn imports
To help maintain the price of animal feed and meat products, a group of Philippine hog raisers has appealed the government to grant duty-free corn imports for six months.
The Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines said in an October 14, 2011 letter to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala that the average price of local corn had steadily risen to PHP15 (US$0.35) a kilo from PHP12 (US$0.28), raising meat prices in the market.
Edwin Chen, federation president said they would like to request that the pork producers be given special importation permit at zero tariff for six months to source corn where the product is cheaper.
The group said the high price of corn was taking its toll on the swine industry.
Chen said if the price of corn is not stabilized soon, this would result in further losses for hog farmers, who are still reeling from the devastating effects of natural disasters and pig diseases.
He added that if the situation worsened, several hog farms, especially backyard raisers who do not have enough capital to shoulder additional costs, may be forced to cease operations.
The group said it could purchase cheaper corn and distribute the crop to members if the 35% tariff will be lifted for at least six months.
The group added that lower corn prices would stabilize livestock feed prices as well as help maintain the current pricing of pork products.
The group, however, failed to specify the importation volume needed to prevent another spike in the corn prices.
So far, traders have brought 60,000 tonnes of imported corn for 2011.