December 13, 2004



Philippines Poultry Raisers Eyeing Markets in Hong Kong, South Korea


Poultry raisers in the Philippines are seeking accreditation to export chicken products to South Korea and Hong Kong.


The Philippine Association of Broiler Integrators Inc. (PABI) said the Department of Agriculture's National Meat Inspection Commission was helping poultry firms fulfill the quarantine requirements of the proposed destinations.


PABI is composed of the country's largest agri-business firms. They include San Miguel Foods Corp., RFM Swift Foods Corp., Tyson Agro Ventures Inc., Universal Robina Corp., and Vitarich Corp.


According to Poultry Exporters Board chair Ruben Pascual, the local industry hoped to corner a portion of the US$ 500 million export market for chicken products in South Korea and Hong Kong.


PABI president Rita Imelda Palabyab said on another occasion that San Miguel Foods, RFM-Swift Foods and Tyson Agro-Ventures had exported some one thousand tons, or one million kilograms, of poultry products to Japan since the avian influenza gripped East Asia almost a year ago.


The 96-billion-peso (1.7-billion-dollar) Philippine poultry industry remains free of the dreaded avian flu virus.


Agriculture and trade officials, however, said that the country still imported at least 5,000 metric tons of chicken to shore up local supplies in the coming months.


Government officials said the chicken imports would avert another increase in prices.


In December 2003, prices surged to as high as 140 to 150 pesos per kilo. Current market prices hover at 95 to 110 pesos per kilo.