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Imports to Cover Pork, Chicken Shortage Likely

by 5m Editor
5 November 2009, at 10:26am

PHILIPPINES - The government has allowed the private sectors to import pork and chicken meat, to cover the shortage of supply in Luzon, an official of the Department of Agriculture said yesterday.

Agriculture department Assistant Secretary Salvador Salacup said Luzon has been experiencing tight supply of pork since September because of the diseases that hit the swine industry in 2007 and 2008.

Mr Salacup told The Manila Times that Luzon’s pork supply is short by 20,000 metric tons (MT). To cover the scarcity, he said the government has allowed the private sector to source its supply from the Visayas, Mindanao as well as abroad under the Minimun Access Volume (MAV) 35-per cent tariff level.

“We encourage the private sector to bring in 15,000 metric tons of pork from the United States, Canada and neighbouring Asian countries,” he said, adding that “even before the typhoons hit the country, the private sector had already warned of supply tightness.”

However, the producers in Visayas and Mindanao can only supply around 5,000 metric tons of pork as they also have to meet the demand in the region.

On poultry, Mr Salacup said Luzon has been on tight supply since October after tropical storm Ondoy. He added Typhoon Santi exacerbated the shortage problem in the poultry-producing provinces to 8,000 metric tons from 5,000 tons before the onslaught of Ondoy.

“I was able to discuss with key players the situation on the supply of poultry because of the damage brought by Typhoon Santi. They are contemplating of bringing in an additional 3,000 metric tons from the original 5,000 metric tons that the private sector proposed under the special safeguard measure free approach,” he said.

He added that a total of 8,000 metric tons of foreign-sourced chicken will arrive by December.