Despite ASF, pork supply sufficient: DA

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    Some 358,963 hogs have been culled as of October 14 to contain the spread of African swine fever (ASF) that has spread to nine regions, 31 provinces, 364 cities and municipalites and 1,920 barangays nationwide, according to the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).

    Most of those culled were in Central Luzon, the center of outbreak that started in July 2019.

    Reildrin Morales, executive director of the NMIS, assured supply of pork is sufficient, augmented by supply from Visayas and Mindanao and imported frozen meat.

    Morales said as of the last week of October, the inventory of frozen pork in accredited cold storages nationwide stood at 42,171.01 kilograms (kg), both from local and imported sources. Around 100,000 pigs have been brought from Visayas and Mindanao to Luzon, Morales said.

    The NMIS said the Bantay Presyo Task Force and local price coordination councils have been activated to ensure compliance to the suggested retail price of pork: P260 per kg for kasim and P280 per kg. for liempo.

    Meanwhile, the DA has officially banned the entry of chicken products from Altforst, Gelderland, Netherlands but has allowed the resumption of the importation of similar products from Australia except from Lethebridge, Victoria. These were contained in two separate memorandum orders dated Nov. 6, 2020.

    Meat processors have earlier expressed fear a blanket ban on the importation of chicken meat products may cause a shortage in the supply of mechanically deboned meat, a raw material of canned meat .

    Based on DA’s latest outlook, pork supply will be in a 45-day deficit by yearend while chicken meat will have a surplus for 103 days. (J. Macapagal)