July 18, 2022


Philippines' meat imports in first half of 2022 increased 4.3%


The Philippines' first semester meat imports rose by 4.3%, with pork comprising more than half of the volume, latest figures from the government showed.


About 600.1 million kilogrammes of meat entered the country from January to June, higher than the 575.1 million kilogrammes imported in the same period a year ago, based on data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).


Pork remained the main driver of meat imports as its volume climbed by 15.7% to 321.5 million kilogrammes, mostly pork cuts and offals.


The United States Department of Agriculture last month raised its pork import forecast for the Philippines to 400,000 tonnes from 375,000 tonnes previously, as the government decided to retain the lower tariffs on certain imported goods until the end of the year.


Former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had signed Executive Order No. 171, which extended the most favored nation (MFN) tariff rates for pork imports at a 15% for in-quota volume and 25% for out-quota volume until end-December. The annual quota stands at 254,210 tonnes.


Extending the imposition of lower tariff rates is meant to ensure enough supply and to keep prices in check amid supply constraints arising from the prolonged Ukraine-Russia war.


Chicken comprised the Philippines' next biggest meat imports at 176.2 million kilogrammes, down by 5.04% in the first six months. Deboned chicken was the main contributor among chicken items.


The government had laid out measures to stabilise prices of poultry products in the markets amid higher demand for chicken and seemingly low poultry production. These include allowing inter-island movement from mainland Luzon of day-old chicks, hatching eggs and ready-to-lay pullets. Shipment of day-old chicks and hatching eggs is allowed provided they tested negative for avian influenza 28 days from the date of sample collection.


In the case of ready-to-lay pullets, delivery is permitted as long as they tested bird-flu negative 14 days from the date of sample collection.


The BAI is working closely with partners from the private sector to regularly validate the broiler life cycle model.


To address high input costs, BAI director Reildrin Morales said agriculture officials would seek alternative sources of cheaper feed ingredients.

Beef imports also dropped by 5.4% to 78.8 million kilogrammes. Over half of the total comprised beef cuts.


Brazil was still the country's leading source of meat imports, followed by Spain and the United States.

- Inquirer

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