The country’s frozen pork inventory in the first week of October reached a record 83,469.53 metric tons (MT) due to the influx of imports.
As the nationwide frozen pork inventory continues to expand, industry players urged the government to allow the sale of certain imported pork products outside Mega Manila.
Latest National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) data showed that nationwide frozen pork inventory as of October 4 was 2.5 percent higher than the 81,435.87 MT recorded on September 27.
On a monthly basis, the latest inventory volume was almost 10 percent higher than the 76,046.43 MT recorded on September 6. The frozen pork inventory as of October 4 was also 72.62 percent higher than the 48,354.09 MT recorded a year ago.
NMIS data also showed that about 97 percent, or 81,168.72 MT, of the latest nationwide frozen pork inventory were imported while locally-produced pork accounted for the remaining volume of 2,300.81 MT.
The Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) attributed the increase in frozen pork inventory to the influx of imported pork.
The group said pork inventory build-up in cold storage facilities was also due to the recent lockdowns. CCAP President Anthony S. Dizon said a lot of pork imports, which were held up by shipping delays and logistical problems, have arrived in recent months.
To decongest cold storage facilities, Dizon told the BusinessMirror that the government must consider lifting the restriction on selling imported pork outside Mega Manila under the government’s minimum access volume plus (MAV+) program. This will also allow other regions to enjoy cheaper pork.
Under the MAV+ program, which was implemented to boost domestic supply, the government allowed traders to bring in some 200,000 MT of imported pork at lower tariffs. However, imports under the MAV+ program can only be sold in Mega Manila including the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces like Bulacan and Laguna.
NMIS data showed that cold storage facilities in NCR, Regions 3 and 4-A have about 68,324.38 MT of imported pork, or 83.86 percent of the total imported pork inventory nationwide.
The BusinessMirror earlier reported that the Philippines approved the importation of 1.717 million MT of meat products as of end-August—more than double the previous year’s volume—driven by the country’s dire need for pork supply.
The volume was based on the total number of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPS-ICs) approved and issued by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for meat imports from January to August.
The volume, based on latest BAI data, was 107 percent higher than the 828,892.915 MT approved for importation last year.
BAI data showed that pork imports accounted for half of the approved SPS-ICs during the eight-month period or about 837,955.337 MT, which was triple the 276,424.228 MT approved a year ago.