Philippine Pork Prices Rising On Strong Demand Due To Bird Flu

by 5m Editor
4 February 2004, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINE - Philippine domestic prices of pork are on an upward trend following a shift in consumer demand due to the bird flu scare even as officials continue to assure the people that the Philippines remains free of the virus.

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Pork prices are hovering between 125 to 130 pesos ($1=PHP56.20) a kilogram, up from PHP110 to PHP120/kg in December, Romeo Recide, director of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, said Wednesday.

Contrary to the current upward trend, current pork prices should be lower when compared to December levels as demand for pork products usually return to normal levels after the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Demand for meat products traditionally rise dramatically in December due to holiday celebrations.

"We should now be seeing lower prices of pork by now, but obviously there's something that's pushing prices up," Recide said.

He added that higher pork prices could only be attributed to the shift in consumer demand due to the bird flu scare.

Chicken prices, meanwhile, continue to fall due to the bird flu scare even as health and agriculture officials are insisting that the country remains free of the disease.

Farmgate prices of live chicken have further declined to from PHP57/kg less than a week ago and PHP68/kg a month ago, Gregorio San Diego, chairman of the United Broiler Raisers Association said.

But according to Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo, the Philippines remains free of bird flu and "we intend to do everything to keep it that way."

Lorenzo said the government has formed a multi-sectoral committee to draft an emergency plan against the highly pathogenic avian flue in a bid to protect the country from the dreaded disease that is now sweeping across Asia.

The committee, comprising of representatives from the agriculture department, the health department, academia and non-government agencies, among others, will take concrete steps to prevent the virus' entry into the country and to come up with mitigation measures should a local outbreak occur, Lorenzo added.

Source: eFeedLink - 4th February 2004

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