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Corn Shortage Likely to Up Pork and Chicken Prices

by 5m Editor
9 February 2009, at 5:58am

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 25 and 28 pesos (PHP) a kilo from PHP 12 to 13 a kilo, reports The Manila Times.

However, Mr Briones said the price of corn went down to PHP 18 a kilo this month because of the importation of 100,000 metric tons of young corn from Brazil and 120,000 tonnes of feed wheat from Ukraine.

He said the country would import more corn, 62,500 tonnes this month and 187,500 tonnes 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 tonnes in the coming months.

According to Mr 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 per cent tariff duty on imports.

But NFA imposes a fixed tariff of Php 4 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 tonnes to 100,00 tonnes of corn to shield the farmers from shortages and possible unscrupulous hoarding.

In light of this development, Mr Briones has asked the Agriculture department to bring down the fixed tariff to PHP 2 a kilo to help the poor farmers, and avoid the subsequent increases in the price of pork and chicken.