Corn Shortage Likely to Up Pork and Chicken Prices

by 5m Editor
9 February 2009, at 6:54am

THE PHILIPPINES - An agricultural lawmaker has warned of possible increases in the price of pork and chicken as the country faces a shortage of corn.

According to AGAP party-list group Rep. Nicanor Briones, the shortage of corn would definitely have an impact on the price of pork, chicken and eggs since corn comprises 50 per cent of the feeds animal raisers use.

“As it is now, there is a price hike on chicken and pork and it will continue to increase if there will be a corn shortage,” Briones said.

Moreover, corn prices increased in January to between P25 and P28 a kilo from P12 to P13 a kilo, reports The Manila Times.

However, Briones said the price of corn went down to P18 a kilo this month because of the importation of 100,000 metric tons of young corn from Brazil and 120,000 metric tons of feed wheat from Ukraine.

He said the country would import more corn, 62,500 metric tons this month and 187,500 metric tons from March to May to meet the demand until the second quarter of the year.

He added that corn is being pegged at 600,000 metric tons in the coming months.

According to Briones, the original plan was to course the privately financed importation through the National Food Authority (NFA) to expedite the process and minimize, if not lift, the 35-percent tariff duty on imports.

But NFA imposes a fixed tariff of P4 for a kilo of corn, which is not beneficial to the farmers especially when the price of corn in the world market has gotten really low.

The Department of Agriculture has said NFA should have a buffer stock of 75,000 metric tons to 100,00 metric tons of corn to shield the farmers from shortages and possible unscrupulous hoarding.

In light of this development, Briones has asked the Agriculture department to bring down the fixed tariff to P2 a kilo to help the poor farmers, and avoid the subsequent increases in the price of pork and chicken.

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