November 9, 2021


Philippines' chicken demand not picking up despite coming Christmas season


Demand for chicken in the Philippines is not yet picking up despite the start of the Christmas season, and the local poultry industry is not expecting a recovery anytime soon.


United Broilers Raisers Association (UBRA) chairman Gregorio San Diego Jr. told Business Bulletin that one of the biggest problems in the poultry industry is still low demand, worsened by the continuous entry of imports.


"This is a big problem for us. The demand is still low. People don't have enough money and food has given way to some more important home expenditures like water, electricity, phone bills and internet," San Diego Jr. said.


Aside from low demand, San Diego Jr. said local raisers are still competing with imports, which is making it harder for them to deal with rising production costs.


"The broiler industry is still struggling amid the increase in imports that the government is promoting aggressively. This, coupled with the very high feed cost today," San Diego said.


Yellow corn, a source of energy for animals, makes up 40% to 60% of animal feeds. These, in turn, account for 60% to 70% of the cost of producing meat and poultry products.


As of November 4, the prevailing retail price of whole dressed chicken is ₱160/kg (US$3.19), based on the price monitoring of the Department of Agriculture (DA).


At farmgate, the average price for regular-size chicken (live) stood at ₱96/kg (US$1.91), while off-size chicken (live) costs at the average price of ₱95/kg (US$1.89), according to the latest weekly price monitoring of UBRA.


In September, the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Manila (Post) made a forecast, saying that the Philippines' "chicken meat imports for 2022 are forecast at 400,000 tonnes while 2021 imports are revised to 420,000 tonnes".


This, according to Post, is "based on robust trade to date and the return of some European suppliers to the market".


"Chicken meat is expected to continue supplementing some of the demand for pork, which will remain under pressure from ASF (African swine fever). Chicken exports to the Philippines through July 2021 are 36% higher than 2020, with North American and Brazilian poultry showing robust growth," Post said.


"The Philippines recently resumed imports of a few key European countries following highly pathogenic avian influenza-related bans, boosting sources for mechanically deboned meat [MDM], an affordable protein source used in meat processing," it added.


The Philippines' biggest sources for imported chicken meat are the United States, Brazil and the European Union.


- Manila Bulletin