DA sees pork shortage of 389,000 tons

By Eileen Mencias

The Philippines faces a shortage of 388,790 tons of meat this year, according to the Department of Agriculture.

At the Tariff Commission hearing tariff on pork imports, DA director for livestock program Ruth Miclat-Sonaco said the DA sees demand for pork at 1.62 million tons because of African swine flu while local production is expected to reach only 1.23 million tons.

Miclat-Sonaco said industry players have forecast an even bigger shortage of 530,871 tons with production falling to 1.09 million tons from DA’s 1.23-million ton projection.

The DA said the African Swine Fever and the culling that ensued reduced the number of pigs in the country including sows that are important in repopulation.

ASF was first reported in the Philippines in Luzon in July 2019 and had spread to Mindanao by January 2020. By January 2021, it had reached the Visayas.

The DA sees the situation worsening throughout the year. The DA sees pork supply at 332,263 tons in the first quarter, and declining to 242,598 tons in the second quarter, and further to 137,470 tons in the third quarter. By the fourth quarter, the DA sees the pork supply plummeting to 48,166 tons.

The spread of the ASF and its crippling effect had not been anticipated by the DA which was even expecting a surplus of pork this year based on one of its scenarios that used data from the Philippine Statistics Authority as of Oct. 1, 2020.

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