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Imposition of Pork Price Ceiling Urged

by 5m Editor
29 September 2008, at 8:24am

THE PHILIPPINES - Hog farmers are pressing the government to impose a pork price ceiling in the wet market as the trader-manipulated price is devastating the industry and pork consumption is being further dampened.

National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI) Albert Lim told reporters that the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry should cause the imposition of a pork price ceiling of P140 to P150 per kilo in the wet market.

This should put a cap on the price that has hovered around P170 to P180 in the market as manipulated by traders. This is even if price of pork at farm gate is now at a very low P85 per kilo or less.

Lim said farmers are also suffering from a huge inventory of oversized hogs weighing more than 100 kilos while what is normally acceptable in the market are those weighing 70 to 80 kilos. This is because of the big importation of pork meat from Canada.

"We have lots of oversized pork. This is the only time that that has happened to us," he said.

In a related concern, the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) is protesting DA’s suspension on the issuance of veterinary quarantine certificate (VQC) on PAMPI’s importation of meat products.

This is effectively a ban on the importation of ingredients being used by meat processors for producing canned corned beef or canned ham.

PAMPI asked DA Sec. Arthur C. Yap in a letter to "immediately lift the suspension of VQC processing for pork import applications for manufacturing-grade parts of pork in the soonest possible time so we can catch up on our inventory build-up of processed meats intended for the holiday season."

DA issued the suspension of release of VQC on pork importation last September 16th.

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director David Catbagan said BAI will be reviewing this directive.

PAMPI said in a statement that Rep. Nick Briones who is associated with livestock cooperative Limcoma has been pressing DA to issue such suspension.

"Briones blamed the presence of imported pork in the wet markets for a large inventory of 50,000 to 60,000 oversized hogs amid a lack of market demand," said PAMPI.

Moreover, PAMPI officials said DA has allowed a bulk of imported meat from Canada to be sold in the wet market even if it is the duty of DA to curb distribution of these meat in the wet market.

"Only meat processors should be allowed to import this meat, and this imported pork should not be sold in the market," said a PAMPI official.

PAMPI said its importation of manufacturing grade pork has not been unreasonably high compared to 2007 volume except for bellies "which has become scarce in local supply, forcing us to depend on imported sources to support the increased demand of bacons."

BAI data showed that pork imports reached 83,454 metric tons as of September 13th from 79,381 MT in the entire 2007.

5m Editor