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Philippines to Boost Pork Imports as Prices Soar
USAgNet - 01/20/2021

The Philippines is aiming to triple pork imports this year, the agriculture minister said on Monday, after domestic prices jumped more than 50% from a year earlier as African swine fever decimated hog populations.

Reuters reports that the Southeast Asian country, the world's seventh-biggest pork importer before local demand fell due to the pandemic, plans to lift purchases to 162,000 tonnes, Agriculture Secretary William Dar told a media briefing.

The Philippines mainly imports pork from Canada, the United States, France, the Netherlands, and Spain.

Philippine pork production was estimated to have dropped 20% last year as the highly infectious disease prompted the culling of more than 300,000 pigs, or about 3% of the hog population, based on government data.

"We are studying tripling the current minimum access volume of 54,000 metric tonnes per year," Dar said, adding an initial 54,000 tonnes should arrive by February or March.

Pork prices have been particularly high in the capital region as the animal disease was mostly detected in farms on the main Luzon island.

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