September 14, 2020


Philippines' bans on meat imports could push up prices by Christmas


The Philippines could bear the consequences for the government's recent bans on pork and poultry products from various countries by witnessing higher costs of meat prices during Christmas, according to an official from the Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA).

In the latest development, the country's Department of Agriculture (DA) signed an order reminding local traders and importers that import of pork products from Germany is still not permitted after the European country reported its first case of African swine fever (ASF).

In July 2019, the DA banned the entry of German pork products following the first ASF outbreak in Poland, a neighbour of Germany. The decision was made even though Germany, at that point in time, did not report an ASF outbreak.

In 2018, the Philippines brought in close to 90 million kilogrammes of meat from Germany.

The DA should reconsider its decisions regarding import bans, including recent bans imposed on Brazilian and Australian poultry meat, as this could negatively impact the Philippines' reputation as a trade partner, according to Jesus Cham, president of MITA.

He also emphasised that due to rising cases of ASF in the Philippines and amid the import bans on poultry meat coming from other countries, pork and poultry products may become costlier during the Christmas season.

"The poultry ban on Germany, then Brazil and Australia, is curtailing the supply of MDM (mechanically deboned meat) products so we expect canned meat supply to decrease and prices to increase [during Christmas season]," Cham said in a text exchange. 

"Local pork is already short and expensive. Local poultry, while apparently plentiful now, can easily be eaten up should consumption turn around."

- Manila Bulletin