DA eyes pork imports ahead of Christmas holidays | Inquirer News

DA eyes pork imports ahead of Christmas holidays


Illustration made from file photos by JEROME CRISTOBAL / INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will likely import pork in time for the Christmas season but industry stakeholders said the country still has a sufficient supply of pork.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said on Tuesday that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is considering importation to cover the projected shortfall in the fourth quarter of this year.


De Mesa, also the spokesperson for the DA, said the country had a supply surplus of 10 days in the third quarter but it might need to source additional pork from abroad to meet the expected increase in demand during the holiday season.


“Our pork supply is a little tight. We expect a 10-day deficit in our local supply by the end of fourth quarter,” de Mesa said.

“There might be a need to import during the last quarter when the demand for pork is really strong based on historical data,” he told reporters.

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But agricultural group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura said the Philippines has enough stockpile of pork as evidenced by the huge volume of pork stocks in cold storage facilities nationwide, and the decline of farm-gate prices of live hogs.


According to the National Meat Inspection Service, the inventory of frozen pork in accredited cold storage facilities stood at 87,338.57 metric tons (MT) as of Sept. 18, up by 2.02 percent from 85,606.60 MT in the same period a year ago.

However, this was 16.9 percent lower than 105,054.41 MT recorded the previous week.

De Mesa said there was “a need to balance our local production” with importation to stabilize retail prices and meet the country’s pork requirement as the hog sector is contending with different issues such as the prevalence of African swine fever.

De Mesa also said the DA was studying whether to impose a suggested retail price (SRP) on pork products.

“We can look into it if we observe price manipulation. But as of now, we don’t see the need to implement an [SRP],” he added.

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The DA official said they observed the farm-gate price — or the selling price between producers and traders — of pork ranges between P170 to P190 per kilogram and in certain areas, reaches P200 per kg.

TAGS: Arnel de Mesa, Christmas 2023, Department of Agriculture, pork imports

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