PHL has enough chicken for the holidays–group

The country’s chicken supply remains ample and is enough to meet the expected spike in demand for poultry meat during the holiday season, according to the United Broiler Raisers Association (Ubra).

”Supply has been stable for all market segments, although wet-market prices, as usual, are more volatile,” Ubra President Elias Jose Inciong told the BusinessMirror. ”So far, no complaints [on supply]. Higher prices in wet markets have nothing to do with supply levels.

Inciong added the latest case of avian influenza in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, has not affected chicken prices and supply.

He revealed that the farm-gate price of broiler could go up to more than P100 per kilogram (kg), from the current P94 to P100 per kg, in the next few weeks due to the expected hike in demand.

”Farm-gate price could increase but after Christmas, it would collapse,” Inciong said.

Poultry growers in Central Luzon incurred huge losses after the government announced in August that bird flu struck Pampanga. The farm-gate price of broiler fell to as much as P15 per kg, as consumers avoided eating chicken for weeks following the announcement.

Farms in Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija were also affected by avian influenza (AI). Poultry growers in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija were forced to cull their flocks to prevent the spread of the virus.

While a farm in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, was struck by the virus last month, farm-gate and retail prices were not affected because of the government’s timely intervention, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol.

“The earlier AI incident had a massive impact on the prices of chicken because we did not know what to do then. So we took extra precautionary measures because that time, we did not know the extent of the problem,” Piñol said.

“But this time around, it is farm-specific. What was hit was one farm, in Cabiao. We did not make a big fuss out of it anymore [as] it is already under control,” he added.

Data from the National Meat Inspection Service, as of November 27, indicated that traders have started to fill up cold storages as the country’s total dressed-chicken inventory grew by 31.43 percent to 27,217.48 metric tons (MT), from the previous week’s 20,708.99 MT.

However, the figure was 28.04 percent lower than the 37,822.56 MT recorded in the same period last year.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the retail price of dressed chicken by end-November was unchanged.

For instance, the retail price of dressed chicken in the National Capital Region remained at P150 per kilogram, PSA data showed.

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Jasper Y. Arcalas

Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas is a graduate of the UST Journalism School (Batch 2016). He currently covers agribusiness for the BusinessMirror. He joined the news outfit in August 2016.
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