Meat imports wedged in trade row?

    Star of Noche Buena. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez does not see any price increase on products bought by Filipinos to celebrate Christmas including hams. Meat processors, however, have yet to make projections in view of the continued ban on poultry from Brazil. (File photo)

    Meat importers yesterday warned the possibility of a full-blown trade war between Brazil and the Philippines over the latter’s decision to ban poultry from the former.

    The importers alleged shipments of mechanically-deboned meat (MDM) of chicken from Brazil are stalled even after the Department of Agriculture (DA) partially lifted the ban.

    The importers said some suppliers are not dispatching shipments of MDM for now.
    Some see this as a retaliation.

    Brazil earlier cautioned the Philippines of possible trade violations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) when it imposed the ban in August.

    Brazil wants the Philippine government to fully lift the ban, they said.

    Brazil’s Ministry of External Relations and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply in a joint statement last September 5 said the Philippine government’s imposition of a temporary ban did not follow the necessary and mandatory principles and steps under the WTO agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

    The DA l banned the entry of all Brazilian chicken products after reports that SARS-COV 2, the causative agent of the new coronavirus disease 2019, was detected in a surface sampling conducted in chicken meat imported from Brazil to China.

    The DA early this month allowed the entry of MDM of poultry from foreign meat establishments in Brazil with employees that are assured free from disease to avert any price increase in processed meats.

    Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry show that from January to July this year, the Philippines imported a total of 159,745,948 kg. of chicken MDM, of which 39,250,498 kg. or 24.5 percent came from Brazil.

    In 2019, for the total 219,061,866 kg. of MDM that were imported by the country, Brazil provided 40,684,752 kg. or 18.5 percent.