January 26, 2021


More hog, broiler producers in Philippines shift to eggs due to impact of ASF, COVID-19



Hogs and broiler raisers in the Philippines have shifted to layer poultry farming or chicken egg production in the past months, said Bong Inciong, president of the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA).


As a result, the supply of eggs have increased in the past weeks.


For hog raisers, the reason for the shift was the impact of African swine fever, while broiler raisers had to deal with oversupply amid COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and the influx of poultry imports, Inciong explained.


"The volume of production in eggs is high. Those who lost livelihood in hog and poultry raising all shifted there. Consumers are assured of enough supply of egg. This can be their only protein source if we run out of pork and chicken," Inciong said in a virtual briefing.


Right now, the local consumption of pork in the Philippines is 15 kilogrammes per capita per year, while it is 8.2 kilogrammes per capita per month for year.


According to Inciong, it will take some time for the broiler industry to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and for the supply of chicken to stabilise.


"If demand recovers, we will find out the consequence of the industry's decision to cut down their production, which they did because the government didn't approve their request to suspend importation during the early days of the pandemic," Inciong said.


"If there's already a COVID-19 vaccine and when people start going out and eating out, there will be pressure on the poultry industry and prices will definitely go up. And when prices go up, the government might again solve the problem through importation. There is no recovering from there for the poultry raisers," he added.


Pork and chicken meat prices in Metro Manila and nearby areas have remained high for the eighth consecutive week, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) monitoring and actual retail market prices.


This, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA), was brought about by the series of typhoons adversely impacting the supply and prices of farm commodities.


Meanwhile, ASF continues to pull down pork supply in the country, while pushing prices of the commodity at an unprecedented rate.


To address the rising prices of basic food commodities, the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Metro Manila chief executives forged an agreement to impose stricter price measures in public markets in the metropolis.


Additionally, the DA and other agencies are recommending to Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte the imposition of another price freeze on selected food items like pork, chicken, fish and vegetables.


The last time Duterte imposed a 60-day price freeze was in November last year, following the declaration of a state of calamity in Luzon in the wake of Typhoon Ulysses.


- Manila Bulletin