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FAO sees PHL meat imports rising by 10%.

PHILIPPINE meat imports this year could go up by nearly 10 percent to 691,000 metric tons, from 629,000 MT last year as the improvement in the purchasing power of Filipinos would hike demand for animal protein.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations made this projection despite a projected 3.27-percent increase in local meat production. The FAO said the country's meat output this year will reach 3.722 million metric tons (carcass weight equivalent), from 3.604 MMT last year.

The FAO projected that poultry will account for 46.08 percent of the total imports as it remains the most sought-after product by Filipinos, particularly by the middle and low-income classes.

Philippine poultry meat imports this year would reach 318,000 MT, nearly 10 percent over last year's 290,000 MT, the FAO said.

'The market optimism rests principally on expectations of a strong growth in import demand, mainly from China, but also Japan, the Philippines, Mexico and Ghana,' the FAO said in its biannual Food Outlook report published last week.

'Imports are also expected to increase vigorously in the Philippines, Mexico and Ghana, as poultry remains the most affordable meat for the bulk of middle- and low-income populations,' it added.

The FAO also said the country's pork imports this year would expand by 11.04 percent to 181,000 MT, from 163,000 MT a year ago.

Bovine imports, the FAO said, will rise at an annualized rate of 9.14 percent to 191,000 MT to plug the shortfall in domestic production.


The report also noted that the bulk of the country's production will consist of pork at 1.928 MMT, some 2.4 percent higher than the 1.883 MMT recorded last year.

Poultry production, the FAO said, may go up by 5.31 percent to 1.487 MMT from 1.412 MMT recorded in 2018.

However, bovine production is expected to go down to 307,000 MT, from last year's 309,000 MT.

Given the projected increase in output and imports, the FAO said total meat utilization this year would increase by 4.26 percent to 4.406 MMT, from 4.226 MMT last year.

The output of pork and poultry has consistently expanded in recent years due to favorable prices and high demand.

However, the livestock and poultry subsectors have suffered a glut this year. The entry of more imports, which have been growing by double-digit in the past three years, aggravated the supply situation.

In fact, the sustained expansion of the livestock and poultry subsectors buoyed the country's first-quarter farm output, which grew at a slower pace as El Nino affected the Philippines's major crops.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 15, 2019
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