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Philippines cuts pork import tariffs to boost supplies

Philippine President Duterte reduced import tariffs on pork to spur foreign pork purchases, hoping to reverse domestic shortages.

8 April 2021, at 9:53am

Reuters reports that the Philippines’ plans to import nearly 400,000 tonnes of poek in 2021, more than double the planned amount of 162,000 tonnes.

The country’s pork shortage comes after multiple outbreaks of African swine fever reduced pig numbers. Local meat prices have surged, causing inflation to rise and stay above the central bank’s full-year target band of 2% to 4% for the first quarter of 2021.

“There is an urgent need to temporarily reduce the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates on fresh, chilled or frozen meat of swine to address the existing pork supply shortage, stabilise prices of pork meat, and minimise inflation rates,” Duterte said in an executive order.

The order cuts the tariff for pork imports during the first three months it is effective to 5% from 30% currently, and to 10% during months four to 12.

For pork imports outside the quota scheme, the tariff will drop to 15% during the first three months from 40% currently, and to 20% for the remainder of the 12-month period.

On the other side of the world, the US, a leading pork exporter, welcomed the enhanced market access. Jen Sorenson, President of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) issued a statement saying that the organization appreciates the opportunity to help ease pork shortages and price hikes.

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