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Pork Plight in the Philippines: ASF Impact, Import Surge, and Market Strain

Discover recent updates in the Philippine pork industry, covering declining local supply due to African Swine Fever, rising imports, escalating prices, and government initiatives.

Image Source: Philippine Star

Decrease in Local Pork Supply

On April 22, 2024, the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) reported a 13.5% decrease in the frozen pork inventory in the Philippines, dropping from last year’s 60,060.89 metric tons (MT) to 51,929.04 MT. The decline is attributed to reduced deliveries from importers and local hog raisers, with imports making up the majority. Pork supplied by local raisers decreased by 75%, from 3,114.15 MT to 752.95 MT. The decrease is primarily due to African Swine Fever (ASF), which has significantly impacted local hog production since its detection in 2019. Regions 3, 4-A, and the National Capital Region (NCR) are major pork suppliers.

On April 25, 2024, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported a 3.06% increase in meat imports during the first quarter, rising from 265.52 million kilograms (kg) in 2023 to 273.64 million kg this year. Among these imports, pork accounted for 46.96% of the total, experiencing an 11.92% rise to reach 128.51 million kg. The country has increased pork imports to address the supply shortage.

The decrease in local pork meat supply signals a potential shortage in supply and fluctuating market prices. This situation, worsened by ASF, emphasizes the market’s dependence on imports and the vulnerability of local farmers. Farmers face potential income loss and heightened risks, calling for adaptation strategies and government support. Despite challenges, pork remains the most purchased meat product in the country during the first quarter of 2024.

Increasing Pork Prices

On April 21, 2024, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported their continuous monitoring of the rising prices of pork in markets, reaching up to Php 400 per kg. DA Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa noted a slight increase in farmgate prices but emphasized that retail prices should not spike excessively. According to DA’s price monitoring, pork shoulder (kasim) ranges from Php 295 to Php 370 per kg, while pork belly ranges from Php 340 to Php 420 per kg as of April 18. Farmers may benefit from the higher prices, yet consumers face affordability challenges, highlighting the need to stabilize the market.

Procurement and Roll Out of ASF Vaccines

On April 22, 2024, fifty-seven hogs in Dauis, Bohol, were reported to have ASF, prompting Governor Aris Aumentado to impose a temporary ban on transporting live hogs and meat products from Panglao Island to mainland Bohol until May 18, 2024. The affected hogs were located in Barangays Mayacabac, Biking, and Mariveles. The measure aims to contain the spread of the disease within the province. To help local hog raisers, the government is currently procuring ASF vaccines with plans to roll out immunization shots by June or July. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced the timeline during a town hall consultation in Occidental Mindoro. ASF outbreaks since 2019 have led to a decline in the domestic hog population and pork market instability. The AVAC vaccine from Vietnam, tested with positive results in Luzon, is set for certification.

With ASF threatening livestock and disrupting supply chains, farmers face financial losses while markets confront instability. The government’s procurement of ASF vaccines offers hope for containment, but the timeline for immunization emphasizes the urgency for swift action to safeguard livelihoods and stabilize the pork market.

References: Abante News. (2024, April 24). Pork sumirit presyo sa P400 per kilo – Agri exec. Abante News Online. Retrieved April 24, 2024 from https://www.abante.com.ph/2024/04/19/pork-sumirit-presyo-sa-p400-per-kilo-agri-exec/

GMA Integrated News. (2024, April 22). 57 hogs in Dauis, Bohol test positive for African swine fever. GMA News Online. Retrieved April 22, 2024 from https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/topstories/regions/904363/57-hogs-in-dauis-bohol-test-positive-for-african-swine-fever/story/

Halili, A.H. (2024, April 25). Meat imports up 3% in Q1 led by beef, pork. Business World. Retrieved April 25, 2024 from https://www.bworldonline.com/economy/2024/04/25/591161/meat-imports-up-3-in-q1-led-by-beef-pork/

Lagare, J.B. (2024, April 26). Group warns of scarce meat supply from abroad. Philippine Inquirer. Retrieved April 26, 2024 from https://business.inquirer.net/456253/group-warns-of-scarce-meat-supply-from-abroad

Remate Online. (2024, April 24). ASF vax bibilhin na; rollout sa Hunyo. Remate News Online. Retrieved April 24, 2024 from https://remate.ph/asf-vax-bibilhin-na-rollout-sa-hunyo/Reyes, R.R. (2024, April 22). PHL frozen pork inventory declines by 13%. Business Mirror. Retrieved April 22, 2024 from https://businessmirror.com.ph/2024/04/22/phl-frozen-pork-inventory-declines-by-13/

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