November 12, 2003



Philippines To Investigate Sudden Increase in Poultry Products Prices


The Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines is set to summon the country¡¯s top poultry raisers to determine the cause of the sudden increase in the prices of poultry products particularly fresh chicken in the wet markets.


Trade Secretary Manuel Roxas II said in an interview with reporters after the meeting of the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) that prices of chicken went up by 11.7% to P95 per kilo from only P85 per kilo.


Roxas said the meeting with integrators would help determine the cause of the price increase and whether the price increase happened in the level of the poultry raisers, the middlemen or the retailers.


According to him, a possible reason for the increase was the corn harvest that was affected by Typhoon Harurot wherein about 300,000 metric tons to 400,000 metric tons of corn in were destroyed.


On the other hand, local bakers carrying Pinoy Pandesal brand vowed not to raise the P1 price of pan de sal until the end of the year despite the rising price of imported wheat. Philippine Association of Flour Millers executive director Ric Pinca, said prices of wheat have doubled to $44 per metric ton over the past few months due to the decision of major wheat exporters like China, India, and the former Soviet Union to stop exporting wheat.


Pinca attributed the possibility of higher flour prices as purchasing patterns have shifted in recent months as China has started to import great quantities from the US.


The price of flour is now P500 per bag while still lower compared to P530 per bag.


Last year is relatively higher, considering that the United States has finished spring wheat harvest season.


¡°By this time of the year the prices of wheat should be going down due to the completion of the harvest season,¡± he stressed.


Roxas convened the NPCC Monday to secure the commitment of manufacturers and retailers to keep prices of their goods unchanged despite the series of oil price increases over the past few months.

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