Pork imports jump 72% in 9 months

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Catherine Talavera – The Filipino Star

October 7, 2021 | 00h00

MANILA, Philippines – Pork imports reached 439.3 million kilograms from January to September, already 72% more than imports for all of 2020, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

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

On a monthly basis, pork imports totaled nearly 50 million kilograms in September, down from the 56.3 million kilograms imported in August.

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

Next come 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 tonnes (MT) of pork, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As part of the government’s efforts to lower prices and stabilize the country’s pork supply, President Duterte issued Executive Decree 133 in May, which increased the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) for meat of pork at 254,210 MT for 2021.

Duterte also signed EO 134, which provides for quota pork imports or those falling under the MAV to be subject to a 10 percent tariff for three months and increased to 15 percent for the remaining months. This rate is lower than the initial rate of 30 percent.

Imports of out-of-quota pork are subject to a 20 percent tariff for the first three months, which will increase to 25 percent in the remaining months. This rate is 40 percent lower than the original rate.

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

Citing data from DA’s Bantay Presyo price monitoring unit, the going price of kasim is now P 280 per kilo, down from its record price of P 360 per kilo in January. Liempo sells for P340 per kilo, P60 cheaper than its peak price of P400 per kilo.

Frozen pork sold in wet markets continues to be cheaper by P 60 per kilo compared to fresh pork at P 220 per kilo for frozen kasim and P 280 per kilo for frozen liempo.

“However, only seven out of 100 meat stalls sell frozen pork in wet markets in the NCR, as frozen pork requires coolers,” the DA said.

The DA predicts a continued decline in local pork prices in the wet markets of the NCR.

For next year, the USDA predicts that pork imports will decline by 25 percent to 375,000 MT given the expiration of the additional MAV and the expected return of tariffs on pork to the previous higher rates of here the first half of 2022.

“The rising cost of pork is expected to lead to a 25% drop in imports in 2022 compared to 2021,” the USDA said.

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