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Business

Pork imports surge 72% in 9 months

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Pork imports surge 72% in 9 months
A vendor arranges slices of pork at his stall in Kamuning, Quezon City.
STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — Pork imports reached 439.3 million kilos from January to September, already 72 percent higher than imports made for the whole of 2020, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

The nine-month figure is also 261 percent higher than the 168 million kilos imported from January to September 2020.

On a monthly basis, pork imports totaled nearly 50 million kilos in September, lower than the 56.3 million kilos imported in August.

Spain was the country’s largest source of pork imports during the nine-month period with shipments totaling 104.5 million kilos or 24 percent of the total.

This was followed by Canada (91.9 million kilos) and the United States (57.9 million kilos).

For this year, the Philippines is expected to import 500,000 metric tons (MT) of pork, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As part of the government’s effort to bring down prices and stabilize the supply of pork in the country, President Duterte issued in May Executive Order 133, which increased the minimum access volume (MAV) for pork meat to 254,210 MT for 2021.

Duterte also signed EO 134, which provides that in-quota pork imports or those under the MAV are imposed a 10 percent tariff for three months and increased to 15 percent in the remaining months. This is lower than the original rate of 30 percent.

Out quota pork imports are slapped with a 20 percent tariff for the first three months, which will be raised to 25 percent in the remaining months. This is lower than the original tariff of 40 percent.

Last week, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said it had observed a drop in the retail prices of fresh pork.

Citing data from the DA’s Bantay Presyo Price Monitoring Unit, the prevailing price of kasim is now at P280 per kilo, down from its peak price of P360 per kilo in January. Liempo sells at P340 per kilo, P60 cheaper than its peak price of P400 per kilo.

Frozen pork sold in wet markets continues to be cheaper by P60 per kilo compared to fresh pork at P220 per kilo for frozen kasim and P280 per kilo for frozen liempo.

“However, only seven out of every 100 meat stalls are selling frozen pork in NCR wet markets as frozen pork requires chillers,”the DA said.

The DA projects a continuing downward movement of local pork prices at NCR wet markets.

For next year, the USDA is projecting pork imports to decline by 25 percent to 375,000 MT given the expiration of the additional MAV and the expected reversion of pork tariffs to the previous higher rates by the first half of 2022.

“The increased cost of pork is expected to result in a drop of 25 percent in 2022 imports compared to 2021,”the USDA said.

BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY PORK
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