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Chicken Supplies Sufficient, says Senior Official

by 5m Editor
23 February 2009, at 8:49am

PHILIPPINES - The Assistant Secretary at the Agriculture Department has assured consumers that the demand for chicken can be met for at least the first half of this year.

The Agriculture Department has reassured consumers that supplies of poultry are sufficient despite heightened alert for bird flu from at least five countries, according to GMA News.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary, Salvador Salacup, said poultry associations have assured him of enough supply for the first and second quarters of 2009.

"We got an assurance from them of sufficient supply for the first and second quarters of 2009. There was a slight price hike last week because of shortage of corn in feed ingredients. Corn accounts for 55 percent of each sack of feed," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He said that as of now, the Philippines is on 'heightened alert' for bird flu especially for products from China, Germany, Nepal, Belgium and British Columbia in Canada.

On 20 February, he said authorities already confiscated a 40-foot refrigerated van with Peking duck and breast fillet and choice cuts of pork and beef from China.

Mr Salacup said the supply of corn in the last two weeks of December and the first weeks was tight. But now, he said poultry prices had gone down from 120 to 125 pesos (PHP) per kilo to PHP 115 to 120.

Mr Salacup said his department expects corn prices to go down again by April, after the harvest peak in the last week of March.

Meanwhile, the National Meat Inspection Service said it will conduct regular on-the-spot checking of meat products, reports GMA News.