Hog-sector output falls as Filipinos eat less pork


By Jasper Y. Arcalas, BusinessMirror (Philippines)

December 28, 2017


Purchase of pork products this holiday season may not be able to drive the local hog sector’s production to reach its year-end volume target, as demand seemed to be lower than usual, resulting in a lower year-on-year total output growth.


Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines Inc. (ProPork) President Edwin G. Chen said total hog output this year could settle 10 percent below their target volume of 2.4 million metric tons (MMT), or only about 2.16 MMT.


This would mean that hog output this year may fall by 3.18 percent, from last year’s record-high production of 2.231 MMT.


“Based on the current demand, we find that the year-end estimate of 2.4 MMT might not be achievable. We might end the year 10 percent below the target,” Chen told the BusinessMirror. “You do not see the bull run like in the last Christmas season.”


In an earlier interview with the BusinessMirror, Chen said local hog production for 2017 could expand by 9 percent to 2.4 MMT on the back of higher pork prices.


“More farmers are coming back into production because of better prices,” he said. “Usually, if you have better prices, it will really encourage people to invest.”


Chen also said the higher volume of pork imports this year competed with the market supplied by the local production.


Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) obtained by the BusinessMirror showed that meat imports from January to September reached 510,777.572 metric tons (MT), 7.72 percent higher than the 474,163.290 MT recorded last year.


Data from the BAI also showed that the bulk of meat imports during the nine-month period were pork, which accounted for 44.05 percent of the total volume. Pork imports reached 225,004.56 MT, 9.92 percent higher than last year’s record.


On the other hand, the ProPork official said he expects 2018 as a “very good” year for the hog sector, “but not as good as 2017.”


Chen explained that the local sector is facing challenges next year...