September 22, 2003



Philippines Livestock, Poultry Feed Prices Stay Up

Philippines livestock and poultry feeds are likely to remain at high levels for the rest of the year due to the high price of corn and its imported substitutes, an industry official said Monday.


Ric Pinca, vice-president of the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc., said high cost of raw materials have pushed up starter feeds costs for poultry to 24-28 pesos ($1=PHP55.21) a kilogram from PHP16-PHP18/kg a year ago. Local corn prices have remained high, at PHP9.00-PHP9.20/kg due to tight supply, compared with only PHP5.50-PHP6.00/kg in 2002.


Imported corn substitutes are also expensive due to high world market prices. The price of soybean meal, for instance, has risen to PHP14.50/kg, ex- vessel, from PHP11/kg in 2002, he said. Adding to that is the pesos depreciation against the dollar.


The Philippine produces only about 4.5 million metric tons of corn each year while annual demand is about 5.5 million tons. Pinca said the only feasible way out in the short term is to drastically reduce tariffs on corn imports.


Corn tariffs are now pegged at 35% for those imported under the import quota system and 50% for imports beyond the quota system.


A proposal to reduce corn tariffs to 20% from 35% is now pending approval from The Department of Agriculture.