Dressed-chicken inventory up 43%–report

The country’s dressed-chicken inventory as of September 18 rose by 43 percent to 34,869.82 metric tons (MT), from 24,377.46 MT recorded a year ago, according to data from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).

Poultry growers said earlier that the decline in demand for broiler meat following the bird-flu outbreak in Central Luzon resulted in the buildup of dressed-chicken inventory.

NMIS data showed that the bulk of dressed chicken, or 26,528.28 MT, in cold storages consisted of local poultry. Imports accounted for 8,341.53 MT.

Central Luzon recorded the biggest inventory at 10,353.54 MT, followed by the National Capital Region with 8,243.47 MT and Region 4-A with 3,677.17 MT.

The farm-gate price of broiler meat fell drastically after the government announced last month that bird flu struck commercial layers in San Luis, Pampanga, and poultry farms in
Nueva Ecija.

Just days after the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced the outbreak of avian influenza in Pampanga, the United Broiler Raisers Association (Ubra) said poultry sales declined by as much as 50 percent.

This prompted the Ubra to ask the DA to lift the ban on the shipment of poultry products from Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao, as this made matters worse for poultry growers.

Poultry exporters were also affected, as foreign buyers from Japan and the United Arab Emirates imposed restrictions on chicken products from the Philippines. These restrictions would be lifted once the Philippines regains its bird flu-free status.

Last month the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said the Philippines may regain its bird flu-free status in December, after all the necessary measures to manage the virus in affected areas have been undertaken by the government and poultry growers.

The BAI said it would take at least 75 days to implement all the measures prescribed in the government’s manual for managing bird-flu outbreaks.

The guidelines of the World Organisation for Animal Health include a 90-day waiting period after the last infected farm has been cleaned and disinfected before a country can be regarded as bird flu-free.