December 22, 2011
Poultry farmers in the Philippines said it is losing an estimated PHP10.329 billion (US$236.36 million) in sales due to competition from illegally imported poultry and poultry products.
This was revealed by United Broilers and Raisers Association (UBRA) president Gregorio San Diego and vice president Elias Jose M. Inciong as these two officials also said that the local industry is almost self-sufficient contrary to a projection by the Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Agricultural Statistics' (DA-BAS) that there would be a shortage.
The UBRA officials reiterated their call for a review and suspension of DA Administrative Order 26 of 2005 on meat and meat product importation.
According to the UBRA officials there is a breakdown of the country's importation system as evidenced by the importation of meat and poultry products from countries known to have Asian influenza and foot and mouth disease.
Citing data collected from the DA-BAI, the UBRA official reported that chicken meat importation from January to November this year has totalled 113,545,799 kilograms, almost 12 million kgs., more than the full 2010 importation of 101,957,447 kgs.
What is especially glaring, San Diego said, is the significant increase in importations of mechanically deboned chicken meat (MDM) which is subject to a minimal five percent tariff and which is often used to misdeclare the importation of whole chicken, chicken leg quarters and prime chicken cuts.
For the whole of 2010, imports of deboned chicken or MDM amounted to 59,063,738 kgs.
Based on import figures from January to November this year, deboned chicken or MDM imports have already reached 79,646,625 kgs.
San Diego said the BAI issued from January to November this year veterinary quarantine clearance (VQC) for the importation of 162,085,880 kgs, even though local poultry producers assure of adequate local supply.
The inventory of dressed chicken in cold storages as of Dec. 12 this year, the UBRA officials said, amounted to 10,149.28 metric tons compared to only 9,040.24 tonnes on Dec. 13, 2010.
The oversupply of chicken, San Diego pointed out, is the reason why chicken prices this holiday season has not risen.