April 8, 2021


Philippines lowers pork tariffs to combat domestic shortage


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced an executive order to reduce pork import tariffs as the country looks to combat a domestic shortage of the meat by increasing pork imports, Reuters reported.


The Philippines plans to import about 400,000 tonnes of pork in 2021, more than double the original 162,000 tonnes planned previously.


African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks are behind the domestic supply shortage of pork, which has also caused pork prices to soar. Inflation has risen above the central bank's full-year target band of 2% to 4% in the first quarter.


The Philippines is the seventh biggest pork importer in the world.


Duterte said Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates for imports of fresh, chilled, or frozen swine meat must be reduced temporarily to address pork supply shortage in the country, stabilise pork prices and minimise inflation rates.


Tariffs will be cut from 30% to 5% for the first three months, then will be set to 10% between months four to 12.


For pork imports sourced from outside the quota scheme, tariffs will be cut from 40% to 15% for the first three months, then will be set to 20% between months four to 12.


Government data showed pork production in Philippines dropped 20% in 2020 because of ASF, with more than 300,000 swine culled or 3% of the country's swine population.


The government is also starring a major swine repopulation programme to boost pork supplies domestically.


- Reuters