An international agency said that pork imports into the Philippines could reach 600,000 metric tons this year, mainly due to the extension of the validity of lowered tariff rates.
The US Department of Agriculture – Manila’s Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA-FAS Manila) said in a report that importers would benefit from expanded lower tariffs on pork.
The USDA-FAS said in Manila that additional foreign supply will continue to help the Philippines ensure its food security and retail price stability.
“Meanwhile, pork imports are expected to reach 600,000 metric tons in response to the lower tariffs that were extended through December 31, 2023,” she said in the recently published Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain) report.
USDA-FAS Manila estimated that the Philippines imported 575,500 metric tons of pork products last year.
“Prices for domestic pork belly have been under 395 pesos per kg since January 2021. Interestingly, imported pork belly has remained much lower than the local pork belly. This has contributed to lower prices (eg staying under P395 per kg) for pork belly The domestic pig, although the local product remained much higher than the prices of imported belly.
The USDA-FAS in Manila said the entry of “cheaper” imported pork will boost national consumption of the commodity this year.
FAS Manila expects 2023 consumption at 1.599 million [metric tons] She pointed out that the total consumption of pork last year amounted to 1.499 million metric tons.
In terms of domestic pork production, the country’s output this year will reach 1 million metric tons from last year’s 925,000 metric tons as commercial producers opt to produce “larger pigs,” according to the report.
The USDA-FAS in Manila also noted that the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) remains a threat to the country’s total pork supply, citing recent cases in Iloilo Province.
“The industry is seeing a glimmer of hope due to the request for a special authorization for the ASF vaccine by a local company (in partnership with a Vietnamese company) ahead of the FDA. The Post’s forecast assumes that the current situation of no vaccine will continue.
The Philippines expanded its tariff rate of 15 percent and 25 percent for pork imports within the minimum access volume (MAV) and beyond, respectively, to help the government address the sharp rise in consumer prices.
According to data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), the country imported a record 1.356 billion kilograms of meat products last year as the government turned to foreign supplies to cool prices.
BAI data indicated that total meat imports in 2022 amounted to 191 million kilograms, higher than the 1.165 billion kilograms recorded in 2021.
The Philippines may finally recover from ASF within two years with pork production expected to return to 1.6 MMT, according to a joint forecast by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (OECD-FAO).
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization have forecast that additional pork production from the Philippines is expected in the next two to three years.