Imports drive up pork stocks

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Catherine Talavera – The Filipino Star

February 1, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s frozen pork stocks rose in the fourth week of January as imports remained high, according to data from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).

The latest NMIS figures showed frozen pork inventory in accredited cold stores increased by 5% to 67,517.34 metric tons (MT) as of January 24.

The figure, however, is more than triple the 21,788.09 MT of frozen pork in the same period last year.

Imported frozen pork accounted for the bulk of the inventory at 66,280.11 MT.

In contrast, local frozen pork only had a share of 1,237.23 MT in inventory.

Central Luzon had the highest share of frozen imported pork with 23,392.51 MT.

It was followed by CALABARZON with 20,382.40 MT. The region also accounted for the largest share of local pork with 490.12 MT.

The National Capital Region also held a large share of frozen imported pork at 17,292.79 MT.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said earlier that pork supply in the country is slowly stabilizing, thanks to improved production and increased supply from other countries, supported by measures against African swine fever (ASF).

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said there was sufficient supply of pork in the country following efforts to strengthen and improve local production and increase it with support from other countries .

The DA noted that there has been an increase in the country’s pig inventory over the past year.

He cited figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showing that the country’s pig inventory is currently at 9.8 million head, up from 9.1 million head recorded last January.

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Reildrin Morales said this was mainly due to the initiatives and efforts of the private sector, pig farmer groups and professional veterinary associations, who continue to fight against African swine fever with the government.

“These efforts, implemented in partnership with LGUs, have helped keep the industry alive,” Morales said.

With the increase in the pig population, the DA said pork supply has slowly stabilised, with production from local farmers across the country being supplemented by frozen produce from other countries.

“These imported products are kept in cold storage and will be released to simply increase the supply gap. This is never intended to compete with local producers,” Morales said.

Market monitors from the DA showed the prevailing price of kasim or pork ham in Metro Manila markets stood at 340 pesos per kilo yesterday.

On the other hand, the price of liempo or pork belly was 380 pesos per kilo.

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