November 24, 2003



Philippines Chicken Imports May Adversely Affect Local Broiler Producers

The chairman of the Philippines Senate Committee on Finance, Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., yesterday said the Philippines government's plan to import additional dressed chicken to meet an expected strong demand in December may adversely affect local broiler producers.

Villar said that buying imported chicken parts has no add-on effect on the economy, as compared to buying local.

"Patronizing local chicken benefits not only the poultry industry but other allied industries as well," he said. "We would be the biggest losers if our own broiler producers close shop."

Villar also urged agriculture and trade officials to monitor closely monitor the prices of dressed chicken.

Agriculture and trade officials have been at odds on whether or not to import additional dressed chicken to address the tight supply in the local market.

About 350,000 metric tons of corn was destroyed by typhoon Harurut in July which affected local poultry supply.

Villar said the poultry sector posted a 6.13% growth last year, with the chicken sub-sector making the biggest contribution to the growth.

He said the chicken production grew by 6.82% from 1,098 thousand metric tons in 2001 to 1,173.8 thousand metric tons in 2002.

He also said chicken consumption is the country remains relatively low at 6.7 kg per capita, far lower than those of its neighboring countries like Thailand and Malaysia at 11.5 kg and 27 kg.

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