‘Heavier’ hogs may pave way for PHL’s recovery after ASF


The country’s pork output next year may surpass 1.2 million metric tons (MMT)—an initial sign of industry recovery from African swine fever (ASF)—as hog raisers are keen on producing “heavier” pigs to offset the loss in pig population.

Chester Warren Y. Tan, president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc., said they expect domestic pork production to grow by at least 10 percent next year from an estimated total output of 1.2 MMT this year.

“Yes, definitely higher [than 1.2 MMT]. A minimum of 10-percent increase,” Tan told the BusinessMirror when asked about their forecast for next year’s pork output.

“Supposedly more than that minimum increase. What drives the stakeholders to hold back and slow down, is the big volume of importation coming in since the mid-second quarter,” he added.

Tan explained that hog farmers have decided to increase the weight of their live hogs by 20 to 30 percent as a way to fill the estimated deficit in the country’s pork supply.

“If we agree and compute that we have a 20-percent or 30-percent [supply] deficit, [then] we can easily cover it up by increasing the live weight by 20 percent to 30 percent as well,” he said.

Tan explained that hog raisers would increase the live weight of their pigs to as much as 130 kilograms from the current average of 100 kilograms. He added that they would achieve this through a better feed conversion ratio.

Despite the influx of imported pork in the Philippine market, Tan said the hog industry will not give up in producing pigs to ensure the country’s pork supply amid threats of ASF and declining live weight prices.

Tan disclosed that the live weight price of hogs in Visayas and Mindanao has fallen to P120 to P130 per kilogram range, which is below the industry’s average production cost of P150 per kilogram.

“We are not giving up. Every pig counts,” he said.

“Let us grow Pinoy pork and support our local farmers. Definitely, our swine industry is here to stay. We have to achieve self-sufficiency because we cannot depend on other countries,” he added.

The United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service in Manila (USDA-FAS Manila) earlier projected that the Philippines’s pork production next year would likely remain flat at 1 million MT as domestic hog raisers remain adamant to repopulate amid continuing outbreaks of ASF.

The USDA-FAS Manila made the projection, noting that any production expansion made by some hog farms would only offset the reduced output in farms still facing ASF challenges.

“Post forecasts 2022 local production flat at 1.0 million MT carcass weight equivalent [CWE], as industry contacts report prospects remain uncertain amid continuing cases across the country,” USDA-FAS Manila said in its Global Agricultural Information Network report published recently.

“While some commercial farms have started to repopulate to maintain their business, producers have generally remained cautious absent a commercially available vaccine,” USDA-FAS Manila added.

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