Demand Expected to Rise During Holiday Season

by 5m Editor
1 October 2008, at 11:28am

THE PHILIPPINES - Commercial hog farmers are keen on selling pork at higher prices next month because of an expected higher demand this coming holiday season, according to an official of the industry group.

"We expect the [farmgate] price [of pork] to increase reasonably by the first week of November," Renato R. Eleria, vice-chairman of the National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc., said in a phone interview.

Farm prices of pork might go up to P85 per kilogram in October and P90 per kilo in November from the current price of P82 to P84 per kilo, he added.

The demand for processed meat products double in the holiday season, reports BusinessWorld.

Likewise, Mr. Eleria assured that commercial hog raisers can sufficiently supply the rising pork demand. Commercial farming accounts for 30% of the hog industry.

Bureau of Animal Industry Director Davinio P. Catbagan said that to date, there are 50,000 overweight hogs that were not sold by raisers due to low farmgate prices.

The hogs now weigh from 100 to 130 kilos well over the national average selling weight of 70 kilos, Mr. Catbagan said.

Meanwhile, hog farmers are also keen on selling pork cuts to meat importers.

"Pork imports between January to August may have already been exhausted and importers might not be able to import because of the high exchange rate," Mr. Eleria said in vernacular.

As of mid-September, the 83,454 metric tons have already eclipsed the 79,381 MT full-year imports in 2007, a data from the BAI show.

The surge in imports resulted from favorable conditions like a strong peso and Canada’s lowering of pork prices, Mr. Eleria said.

In a statement last week, Philippine Meat Processors Association, Inc. said imports of premium cuts surged to 23.761 MT in January to August this year from 4.963 MT during the same period last year.

However, BAI Director Davinio P. Catbagan said, "[meat importers] cannot buy what they need domestically."

Modern infrastructures like slaughterhouses and cold storage facilities should be built for domestic hog raisers to be able to supply importers’ needs, Mr. Catbagan said in an interview.

"If they (local hog raisers) can present the products [we need], we are willing to buy from them," Jesus C. Cham, president of the Meat Importers and Traders Association, Inc., said in a phone interview.

"Very few of us are able to buy the [live] hogs, we are asking them to sell us pork cuts," he added.

5m Editor