The Philippines is hoping to prompt faster imports of pork to ease high prices caused by strong demand as it still faces outbreaks of African swine fever and global supply chain issues, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) reported on Friday.
According to NPPC, the country’s Department of Agriculture has expanded the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) quota for imported pork to cover distribution of product outside the metropolitan areas of Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite and to allow pork sales to processors and institutional buyers not just retailers.
The country's pork producers are opposed to the government's decision, claiming there is no shortage of pork.
During the first eight months of 2021, however, NPPC said U.S. pork exports to the Philippines increased significantly, up nearly $185 million, which is a 157% rise from the same period in 2020. According to data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), total pork imports reached 968.5 million lbs. from January to September, a 72% increase above the whole year of imports in 2020. Spain has been the country’s largest source of pork imports during the nine-month period, accounting for 24% of the total.
NPPC said it has a long history of working in the Philippines for better market access, including reducing tariffs – and making the reductions permanent – and increasing the quota on U.S. pork.