August 10, 2021


Philippines poultry industry yet to see recovery, according to broiler association president



The Philippines poultry sector has yet to see recovery after more than year into the COVID-19 pandemic, said United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) president Elias Jose Inciong.


"Demand is still poor and is even worse now. Whatever savings people have had already been reduced. They are being careful (in spending)," said Inciong.


At the height of the health crisis last year, the poultry industry faced a glut in local supply as establishments were forced to minimise or close down operations, he added.


"The recovery of the poultry industry is heavily dependent on the reopening of hotels, restaurants and other institutions, job creation, purchasing power of consumers and income support from the government," said Inciong.


"We don't know when this would end, especially now with the Delta variant (of the COVID-19 coronavirus) and the delay in vaccination. Many businesses are also still closed," he said, stressing that everything is about demand right now to enable the sector to bounce back.


Aside from the lack of demand, the poultry industry is also dealing with volatile prices with a downward bias where input costs are high and yet farm gate prices are low. Day-old chicks, corn and soy prices are elevated, said Inciong.


The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI), however, maintained that supply and prices of poultry products remain stable.


DA data showed that chicken imports went down 9% to 185.54 million kilogrammes in the first semester from the 204.29 million kilos in the same period last year.


Last year, the Philippines only imported for five months amid the glut in local supply. For the first semester this year, the bulk or 95.37 million kilos are mechanically deboned meat (MDM), which is not produced locally.


However, chicken industry insiders said there was an increase of 16% in the importation of chicken parts such as chicken cuts and chicken leg quarters from 72.6 million in 2020 to 84 million in 2021.


"This means that the economic displacement is much higher this year than last year if computed against today's prices. Last year, it would have been ₱6 billion (US$119.1 million)) against this year's ₱6.9 billion (US$137 million), depriving local farmers their much needed income in the middle of a pandemic," they said.


"More sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSICs) were also granted this year for non-mechanically deboned parts like chicken leg quarters and chicken cuts. In 2020, this amounted to 61 million kilogrammes compared to last year's 187 million kilogrammes," they added.


- Philstar