Category Archives: Philippines

PHILIPPINES – New Order Raises Concerns over Meat Imports – June 30, 2011

PHILIPPINES – Concerns have been raised ove an Administrative Order issued by the Philippine Department of Agriculture that imposes new technical requirements on retail sales of frozen meat.

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Exporters are concerned that it could seriously affect exports of US and third country meat and poultry products.

The regulation does not apply to meat never refrigerated, or to meat sold in restaurants or for processing.

According to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Servvice, industry sources estimate that the regulation could affect 25 to 30 per cent of meat and poultry imports.

To date, however, enforcement has focused on open or ‘wet’ market vendors of lower value organ meat and by-products.

Traders assert that the order – A.O. 22 – unfairly targets imports, since it applies only to frozen meat and not to fresh.

The industry also has criticised the short 15 days between announcement and implementation of the order and the lack of infrastructure to comply with it.

Governments of major supplying countries have expressed concerns over the order and have encouraged the Philippine Government to suspend and notify this new regulation to the World Trade Organization for comment.

The USDA FAS said that while industry sources say the order is a response to calls from producer groups for trade restrictions in the wake of record pork and chicken imports in 2010, the price impact from these imports is unclear.

Though chicken prices for both producers and consumers declined in 2010, hog and pork prices were at record levels.

US meat and poultry exports to the Philippines exceeded $100 million in 2010, up 40 and 50 per cent, respectively, over 2009 levels.

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PHILIPPINES – DA Shelves SRP, Import Orders for Chicken – June 29, 2011

PHILIPPINES – The Department of Agriculture has shelved a proposal to set suggested retail prices (SRP) for dressed chicken. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala also said the DA will not issue, at least until 31 December, any import order for chicken because the country has ample supply.

“Chicken prices have steadily been going down. We figured it will be useless to set an SRP,” Mr Alcala said in a news briefing yesterday right after he consulted with poultry stakeholders.

According to the latest daily monitoring of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, dressed chicken sells within the P115 to P150 per kilogram range.

The Union of Broilers and Raisers Association made the SRP proposal in March last year in a bid to address the price gap between farm gates and retail outlets. Dressed chicken back then was at around P130 per kilo.

GMA News reports that this month, the country’s inventory of frozen chicken is at 7,642 MT of which 4,846 MT is imported.

“We have enough chicken (supply) until yearend. There is no need to import beyond MAV (minimum access volume),” Mr Alcala also disclosed.

MAV is the minimum volume for specific agriculture products that members of the World Trade Organization have agreed to import at lower-than-regular tariff rates.

This year, the MAV volume is about 23,490 metric tons (MT), and as of 21 June, about 52 per cent or 12,000 MT has been imported.

DA figures showed that chicken imports zoomed by 565 percent to 87.88 million kilos in 2010 from only 13.24 million kilos a year earlier.

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PHILIPPINES – DA Sets Emergency Meet with Chicken Producers – June 28, 2011

PHILIPPINES – Concerned over high prices of chicken, the Department of Agriculture will hold an emergency meeting with chicken producers today (Tuesday) afternoon to discuss the matter.

DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said he wants to find out why chicken prices are high even if the normal “barometers” indicate chicken prices should be normal.

“We understood a slight increase in chicken prices due to increased demand caused by a recent fish kill. But now, demand for fish is going back to normal and so is demand for chicken. So prices of chicken should have gone back to normal,” Mr Alcala said in an interview on dwIZ radio.

But he cited reports reaching him indicating some vendors sell chicken at P135 to P140 per kilo instead of the normal P130 per kilo.

“The reason for a price hike should have been low supply or high prices of feeds, or high demand. But our three barometers show prices should be normal. The only conclusion we can reach is that some people are trying to exploit the situation. And the DA’s obligation is to protect consumers,” Mr Alacala said.

According to GMA News, he said he has scheduled the emergency meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

He said he expects producers and vendors to explain the high prices of chicken.

If no satisfactory explanation can be given, he said he will be forced to allow the importation of chicken to bring down prices.

“I may be forced to allow the importation of chicken to boost supply and lessen the price of chicken in the market. I don’t want to do this but I may have to, just to counter the overpricing,” he said.

Mr Alcala also rejected the possibility that the damage caused by Tropical Storm Falcon (Meari) could have prompted an increase in chicken prices.

He said that of the P692 million damage to agriculture in 13 provinces, livestock suffered “only” P1 million.

Mr Alcala said today’s meeting will also take up ways to ensure supply of meat for the holidays, at least up to January 2012.

He said he will call another meeting next week, this time with pork producers.

“Filipino growers can meet supply demands for chickens in 35 days, but hog growers need four to six months,” Mr Alacala said.

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PHILIPPINES – Biomass Power for Bantayan Island, Cebu – June 23, 2011

PHILIPPINES – Island folks of Bantayan Island, in the northern tip of Cebu, may soon enjoy the benefits of a renewable energy source abundant in the locality – biomass.

Local officials of the island are tying up with some Chinese investors to explore the possibility of building a biomass plant to produce biogas from chicken manure and wastes from piggeries, according to Engr. Ed Amante, the chief of the Energy Resource Development of the Department of Energy (DOE) – Visayas.

“Poultry is the main line of business in the island and there are also quite a number of piggeries. Everyday, abundant wastes are accumulated which could otherwise be put to good use such as power generation,” Amante declared.

Biomass is generated from wastes, hydrogen gas, alcohol fuels and wood.

Bantayan Island composed of three municipalities – Bantayan, Madridejos and Santa Fe – is popularly known as the ‘Egg Basket,’ generating more than one million and a half eggs a day or over 40 million eggs in a month to supply the increasing demand for Cebu and exporting these eggs to neighbouring provinces of Negros, Panay and Leyte.

Mr Amante said they are now trying to apply for a service contract from the DOE on the long-term viability of the project.

The DOE-7 official said electricity generated from biomass in the island only amounts to 30 kilowatts but in case the move pushes through, power generation could tremendously increase to slightly over one megawatt, which is more than enough to power the whole of Bantayan Island.

Mr Amante, however, could not guarantee that the cost of electricity may be lower than the traditional fuel-powered generation.

“But the technology used in producing power from biomass is not that expensive compared to technologies used in wind or solar energy, he said.

“So perhaps, the cost of power may not be that expensive or just on par with the use of conventional electricity from fuel,” Mr Amante said.

The Government is adopting the use of green technology or renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, hydro, ocean, geothermal and biomass to generate electricity in the long-term approach. This also lessens the country’s dependence on fossil fuel, which has high exorbitant costs as prices are dictated by the global market while renewable energy sources, on the other hand, are indigenous resources found in the locality which could be tapped as power generators.

Fossil fuel, meanwhile, largely contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. This has led to a paradigm shift to the use of alternative sources of energy.

Amante said that the Philippines, as an archipelagic country, has huge potentials in solar, wind and ocean for power generation. Hence, he urged investors to invest in such projects.

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PHILIPPINES – Poultry Demand Grows in Visayas – June 21, 2011

PHILIPPINES – The shift to chicken and other poultry products as a result of the high prices for fish and other fishery goods led to strong demand for poultry products in Central Visayas last year.

The National Economic and Development Authority in Region 7 (NEDA 7) revealed that livestock production and poultry product in general increased by 3.4 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively in 2010, according to Manila Bulletin.

In 2009, both sectors registered higher increases in production, at four per cent for the livestock sector and seven per cent for the poultry sector.

Demand for livestock products grew especially during the first semester of the year because of election-related activities and this was sustained until the last quarter of the year when consumers opted to buy chicken and other poultry products due to the increase in prices for fish.

NEDA 7 added that the region’s livestock producers also benefited from higher demand for beef and pork meat in Metro Manila and in other regions.

The NEDA 7 report likewise revealed that the higher demand for chicken meat from food chains and local consumers spurred production of chicken in 2010.

Manila Bulletin adds that duck production jumped by 4.3 per cent since many backyard farms disposed and slaughtered stocks in the first semester of 2010 to avoid losses.

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PHILIPPINES – Larger, Modern Farms Contribute to Output Growth – June 20, 2011

PHILIPPINES – Chicken meat and egg production are showing strong volume growth, according to the latest statistics.

Poultry production grew in the first quarter from a year ago, driven mainly by high demand for chicken meat and larger broiler farm capacity, according to Business World.

The sector’s output, which accounted for 13.34 per cent of total agricultural production, increased by 3.92 per cent to more than 462,000 metric tons (MT) from about 445,000MT, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed.

However, earnings went down by 4.35 per cent to 39.04 billion pesos (PHP) from PHP40.82 billion due to price depreciation.

Volume was boosted by a 3.77 per cent increase in the production of chicken to 344,620MT from 332,090MT. Chicken products comprised nearly three-quarters of total poultry output.

The BAS reported increased production in broiler farms in Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Soccsksargen. ‘There were also reports of more ventilated-type farms put up in the top-producing regions, which resulted in higher stocking capacity,’ according to the report.

Amelia V. Marcelo, senior agriculturist at the Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Development Council, commented: “Recently, we have been receiving calls from people planning to raise new broiler farms in various regions due to the quick and high return incentive of running a chicken farm.”

According to BAS, ‘The high demand for chicken meat for household consumption and fast-food chains also boosted chicken production.’

Production of chicken eggs grew by 4.94 per cent to 99,23 MT in the first quarter from 94,560MT a year ago. This was attributed to good weather conditions for egg-laying, and the increase in number of laying flocks in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Davao region.

Meanwhile, duck meat and duck egg output grew slightly, by 0.85 per cent to 9,510MT and 0.87 per cent to 9,230MT, respectively.

‘This was explained by the increasing demand and and better market prices of balut, which gave encouragement to raisers to increase their duck egg production,’ reported BAS. A balut is a fertilised duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell.

According to Business World, Ms Marcelo said she expects poultry production and prices to fluctuate in the coming months. “But we also expect the rates to go back up again later this year as soon as holiday season begins,” she added.

Poultry production in Q1 2011(thousand metric tons)
Source: Bureau of Agricultural Statistics
Q1 2010 Q1 2011 Growth rate (%)
Chicken 332.09 344.62 3.77
Duck 9.43 9.51 0.85
Chicken eggs 94.56 99.23 4.94
Duck eggs 9.15 9.23 0.87

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PHILIPPINES – Better Market Information Would Help Farmers – June 20, 2011

PHILIPPINES – A new study reveals that shows that Filipino poultry growers not risk-takers but that they would be able to run their businesses more effectively if they had better access to market data.

Local poultry producers are not risk-takers. The Philippine Star reports that conclusion from Dr Raquel M. Balanay of the Caraga University-College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CU-CASNR) in Butuan City based on her study entitled ‘Price Volatility and Supply Response of Poultry in the Philippines’.

The CU-CASNR assistant professor explained: “Chicken producers are risk-averse and not risk takers because of the short-term changes in the price of poultry products. Price changes affect the behaviour of poultry producers towards the use of expectations in planning and decision-making.”

Her study was her dissertation that capped her pursuit of a doctorate (PhD) in Agricultural Economics at the University of the Philippines Los Banos-College of Economics and Management (UPLB-CEM) here.

Dr Balanay earned her PhD as a scholar of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization-Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEAMEO SEARCA) hosted by the Philippine government on the UPLB campus.

SEARCA, headed by Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., is one of the 20 Centers of Excellence of SEAMEO, an inter-government treaty body founded in l965 to foster cooperation among Southeast Asian nations in the fields of education, science, and culture.

Now on its 45th year, SEARCA is mandated to address Southeast Asia’s agricultural and rural development needs of through capacity-building interventions such as scholarships and other academic grants. To date, the centre has awarded 356 master’s (MS) and PhD scholarships and 24 PhD research scholarships to Filipinos, aside from those granted to nationals of the l0 other SEAMEO (Southeast Asian) member-countries.

Dr Balanay’s dissertation was judged as the Best PhD Thesis in Agricultural Economics by UPLB-CEM in school year 20l0-20ll.

She subsequently discussed the results of her study at SEARCA’s Agriculture and Development Seminar Series (ADSS) held every Tuesday.

Her study focused on poultry production because of its importance to Philippine agriculture.

As reflected by the Philippine Country Report of the United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS), poultry production accounts for l4 per cent of the country’s entire agricultural production.

The Caraga University economist said that uncertainty in the prices of poultry products may weaken the poultry industry in the country.

To counter the effects of and lessen price volatility in poultry, Dr Balanay recommended the improvement of market coordination and hedging options, establishment of a monitoring system for price volatility, as well as upgrading the government’s information network capability.

The government should also provide support for easy access to interconnected information systems, she added. Moreover, for stakeholders who do not have access to online databases, extension services for transmission of relevant market information should be improved.

Statistical agencies, she continued, should improve collection and organisation of online databases.

The Philippine Star reports Dr Balanay’s conclusion: “Further research on price volatility and supply response in poultry and other commodities, as well as on the improvement of poultry breeds, should also be conducted.”

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PHILIPPINES – High Costs Hit Bounty Fresh – May 16, 2011

PHILIPPINES – Poultry company, Bounty Fresh is reported to be preparing to announce losses for the first half of the financial year.

The Bounty Fresh group of companies expects to record a net loss in the first half as its two units reel from high costs of chicken feed and other inputs, its top executive said.

Business World Online reports Tennyson G. Chen, president and chief executive of the Bounty Fresh Group, saying last week: “We are in a difficult situation now. We hope in the second half, we will be able to recoup our losses.”

The group is composed of Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. and Bounty Fresh Food, Inc.

Last year, the company posted 10 billion pesos (PHP) in sales partly due to higher demand induced by election spending, up from more than PHP9 billion in the previous year.

But this year, Mr Chen said higher prices of commodities like oil, soybean, wheat and corn have hurt margins.

The wholesale price of yellow corn, the main ingredient for animal feed, for instance averaged PHP15.22 per kilo in the last month of the first quarter, up 6.2 per cent from the same period in 2010, according to data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

Yellow corn prices have eased to PHP14.54 per kilo as of the first week of May.

Gasoline prices have meanwhile gone up by PHP9.75 per litre from the start of the year to PHP58.35 as of Friday (13 May), data from the Energy department show.

“We hope we can catch up. We try to control costs,” Mr Chen said.

In the long run, the company is banking on growth in the provinces to increase sales.

Mr Chen added: “As consumers in the provinces get richer, they will buy more chicken. Eventually over time, the provinces will also have better income and more ability to buy chicken.”

Bounty Fresh expects to end the year with 1,500 ‘Chooks-to-go’ branches which retail roast chicken from the current 1,100 stores, Mr Chen added.

The Bounty Fresh Group was founded in 1993, dressing 1,000 chickens per day, reports Business World Online, and now processes 6,000 birds per hour.

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philippines – Fly Problem Causes Poultry Farm Closure – May 03, 2011

PHILIPPINES – The Mayor of Panabo Mayor has suspended production at a primary poultry breeder, alleging a severe housefly problem, and he has ordered inspections at all other farms.

Panabo City Mayor, Jose Silvosa, has suspended a poultry farm operation and ordered an inter-agency inspection of all poultry in the city, according to a local news agency.

He imposed the order since last week following the findings released by an inter-agency team which had found numerous violations of Prime Breeder Poultry Farm owned by Richard Gramaje.

Mayor Silvosa led an the inter-agency meeting held last week at the City Mayor conference room inviting the owner of primary breeder which allegedly caused the spread of houseflies particularly in the city.

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PHILIPPINES – International Egg and Poultry Review: Philippines – April 20, 2011

PHILIPPINES – This is a weekly report by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry. This week’s review looks at the 3.72 per cent growth of the Philippines poultry industry in 2010.

According to the Philippines Bureau of Statistics (BAS), the poultry subsector grew by 3.72 per cent in 2010 and accounted for 14.93 per cent of total agricultural production. Chicken and chicken egg production has steadily grown over the past few years. In contrast, duck and duck egg production has steadily declined. Native chickens accounted for 47 per cent of the chicken inventory, broilers 34 per cent, and layers 19 per cent in 2010.

Chicken production grew by 4.01 per cent in 2010. The larger volume of broilers was due to expansion in stocking capacity and sufficient supply of day old chicks. Chicken egg production grew by 5.12 per cent; a higher inventory of laying flocks combined with increases in the egg-laying efficiency ratio of hens in several provinces. The downward trend in duck and duck eggs production continued with this year’s declines of 8.24 per cent and 7.44 per cent, respectively. Duck egg production was constrained by lingering hot weather that resulted in low laying efficiency ratios.

The gross value of poultry production at current prices in 2010 totalled 152.1 billion pesos (PHP), up 4.80 per cent from 2009. The value of chickens rose 4.39 per cent, ducks 1.64 per cent and chicken eggs 7.16 per cent. The gross earnings of duck eggs fell 2.41 per cent due to lower production. Weighted average farmgate prices for poultry rose 1.04 per cent in 2010. The largest increase came in duck prices, from an average of PHP68.60 per kilogram in 2009 to PHP75.98 in 2010.

Chicken meat imports grew 47 per cent between 2008 and 2009. In 2009 the majority came from the United States (41 per cent), Canada (25 per cent) and Brazil (21 per cent). In 2009, the Philippine Department of Agriculture approved special importations of chicken of up to 8,000 metric tons (MT), exempt from special safeguard duties, which contributed to the increase in chicken trade last year.

Source: USDA GAIN Report, Philippines Bureau of Agricultural Statistics

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