PH to import galunggong, tilapia this qtr

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    The Philippines mulls the importation of tilapia and galunggong in anticipation of a shortage by yearend.

    Based on the Department of Agriculture’s latest simulations, supply of galunggong will hit 53,925 MT against demand of 105,690 MT or a deficit of 51,765 MT by yearend while tilapia supply is expected to reach 102,624 MT versus demand of 114,660 MT or a deficit of 12,036 MT at the end of 2020.

    “BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources) will give its recommendation next week and (the volume) should not be as high as last year,” said DA Secretary William Dar in a virtual briefing yesterday.

    In December last year, the agency allowed the importation of 45,000 metric tons (MT) of galunggong. In 2018, the DA also approved the entry of 117,000 MT of galunggong until April of the following year.

    Local supply of tilapia and galunggong have been affected by the pandemic and the eruption of Taal volcano at the start of the year. Seasonal demand and the upcoming closed fishing season in some areas also affect supply.

    Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that as of September 26, the prevailing retail price of tilapia is at P130 per kilogram (kg) with a high of P140 per kg and a low of P110 per kg while the prevailing retail price of galunggong is at P180 per kg with a high of P240 per kg and a low of P140 per kg. -(J. Macapagal)