Pork drives 30% rise in 11-month meat imports

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DRIVEN by higher pork imports, the country’s meat imports from January to November expanded by more than 30 percent year-on-year to a record level of nearly 1.1 million metric tons (MMT), the latest government data showed.

Data released by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) showed that overall meat imports during the 11-month period reached 1.09 MMT, 32 percent higher than the 825,000 MT recorded in the same period of last year.

Historical BAI data showed the country’s meat imports from January to November had already surpassed the full-year volume of 2020 of 894,698.528 MT by nearly 22 percent.

Historical BAI data showed the 1.09 MMT record from January to November is the highest import figure on record and could even go higher when December data comes in.

BAI data showed that pork accounted for bulk of the meat imports or about 47.73 percent. Pork imports during the 11-month period more than doubled to 520,932.058 MT from 231,140.247 MT recorded in the same period of last year.

Low tariff, expanded imports

Pork imports have been the main driver of the overall growth in total meat imports this year due to lower tariff rates and expanded import program implemented by the government to plug the shortfall in domestic supply and arrest rising retail prices.

BAI data showed that imports of pork cuts and pork bellies, which are eligible under the government’s minimum access volume (MAV) import program, reached 203,919.572 MT and 52,724.742 MT, respectively.

Pork imports under the MAV are levied with lower rates compared to those brought in outside the MAV or out-quota.

Imports of pork offals reached 172,115.363 MT, while pork fats reached 59,517.911 MT, based on BAI data.

BAI data showed that Spain was the country’s top supplier of pork products during the 11-month period: import volume from the European country reached 128,808.305 MT. It was followed by Canada at 102,622.342 MT and the United States at 64,057.108 MT, based on BAI data.

Chicken meat imports in the 11-month period inched up to 375,736.274 MT from 374,040.136 MT last year, BAI data showed.

Mechanically deboned meat (MDM) of chicken remained as the top chicken product imported in the country, accounting for 57.87 percent of the total chicken meat imports. However, Chicken MDM imports declined by 14.28 percent to 217,461.320 MT from 253,690.977 MT last year due to the closure of the majority of the country’s import sources.

Brazil was the top supplier of chicken meat products to the Philippines at 136,899.655 MT, as importers turned to the Latin American country for supplies when majority of European countries were placed under temporary import bans due to bird flu outbreaks. It was followed by the United States at 134,900.892 MT.

The country’s beef imports, on the other hand, declined by 19.42 percent to 148,215.613 MT from 183,958.514 MT; buffalo imports plunged 88 percent year-on-year to 44,527.574 MT, based on BAI data.

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