400,000 tonnes of pork to be imported by the Philippines
The Filipino market is to take 400,000 tonnes of pork at 5% duty instead of 30%, as the Asian country is facing a huge deficit in animal protein and a spike in prices. Additional volumes up to 200,000 tonnes will be brought in the country at a 15% tariff instead of 40%, according to an order signed by President Duterte with validity until June. "Right now, my friends in the industry are all rushing to apply to import pork. I think there will be a large bulk of importation taking advantage of Executive Order. Depending on what happens in the economy, we believe that it can even go higher than 400,000, it may even reach 600,000 metric tons this year on total importation under what we call the MAV (minimum access volume)," Jet Ambalada, Director of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, said at a webinar organized by the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
Currently, pig meat in the market is still sold at higher prices as it carries tariffs of 30% to 40% and it "may take some time to sell off these products unless they are willing to average down their costs so they would diminish their losses. What we need to do now is for the imported carcasses to have unhindered access to the marketplaces," stated Jesus Cham, President of the Filipino Meat Importers and Traders Association for CNN Philippines. So far, the Philippines are depending 23% on pork imports but the dependency could grow as the country is confronted with an ongoing ASF outbreak since 2019. Since then more than 400,000 pigs have been culled in 5 provinces of the country.
According to the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines projection, it could take about three years to push production back to pre-ASF levels.
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