Pork, chicken output to decline this year

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    Supply issue. ASF and lost demand will lead to a 20-percent decline in pork production this year. (Photo by RHOY COBILLA).

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said production of pork and chicken in the Philippines is expected to drop further this year due to the continuing effects of the African swine fever (ASF) and lost demand from hotels and restaurants.

    In a report dated Sep. 16, 2020, the USDA said pork production will decline by 20 percent this year as ASF remains a major concern in Luzon and parts of Mindanao. This is higher than the earlier forecast of a 15-percent decline.

    Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed the country produced a total of 2.296 million metric tons (MT) of hogs in 2019.

    Based on USDA’s projection, production may only hit 1.8 million MT this year.

    The USDA report said the drop in the number of sows indicate the pork supply problem may persist until 2021 even as some hog producers report the start of repopulation.

    According to the latest report of the Philippine Department of Agriculture to the World Organization for Animal Health, over 300,000 heads or about three percent of total swine inventory have been culled due to ASF.

    Demand and volume of pork imports will likely ramp up in the second half of the year because of the Christmas season as well as the easing of quarantine protocols in several areas.

    The USDA said from an initial bullish expectation, chicken meat production may drop to 15 percent this year as broiler integrators were forced to cut down or delay their production cycles to respond to the weak demand.

    Data from the PSA showed the Philippines produced a total of 1.927 million MT of chicken in 2019.

    Based on USDA’s projection, this year’s production may only hit 1.64 million MT.

    Just like in the case of pork, importation of chicken parts, particularly mechanically-deboned meat, is expected to pick up by the second half due to increased availability of cold storage space and the holiday season demand.

    The USDA said a slight recovery in production of chicken is seen next year as the economy continues to reopen.