Pork imports under MAV seen at 388,790 MT

Published February 9, 2021, 2:12 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Philippine government is eyeing a way bigger minimum access volume (MAV) allocation, or about 388,790 metric tons (MT), for pork.


This is just one of the proposals of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in terms of addressing the shortfall in the supply of the commodity as well as bring down its price.

During the Presidential Press Briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the MAV advisory council recently endorsed increasing MAV allocation for pork from 54,000 MT to 388,790 MT.

This is more than double the DA’s earlier proposal of 162,000 MT for triple MAV allocation.  

(Keith Bacongco / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

MAV refers to the volume of a specific agricultural product that is allowed to be imported with a lower tariff as committed by the Philippines to the World Trade Organization (WTO).  

Pork imports falling within the MAV are levied a 30 percent tariff, while the out-quota tariff is 40 percent.

This recommendation, according to Dar, will be discussed by the MAV management committee, which is chaired by DA and composed of other government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

The other day, he said that President Rodrigo Duterte already approved “in principle” this so-called MAV Plus.

“In principle, the President has already approved MAV Plus,” Dar said. “We are just going through the process so that no one will say that we didn’t do consultation”.

Aside from increasing MAV allocation, DA has another proposal that is now pending at the Tariff Commission which is to further lower tariff on pork for a period of one year.

To be specific, the DA wants to reduce the tariff for pork imports under MAV from the current 30 percent to 5 percent in the first six months of the implementation of the proposal and to 10 percent in the next six months.  

For pork imports outside MAV, the recommendation is for the tariff to be reduced from the current 40 percent to 15 percent in the first six months and 20 percent in the next six months.

On Tuesday, Dar said traders are not the only ones allowed to import pork, encouraging hog raisers to do it too.

For his part, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) Chairperson Rosendo, who was also at the briefing with Roque on Tuesday, said the local industry does not oppose more importation of pork, only the plan to lower the tariff.

“There is no reason to lower the tariff on pork imports,” So said. “Even with cold storage fee and delivery fee, importers can already make money with the current tariff… there aren’t complaints from the importers about the current tariff”.

Importation is just one of the measures identified by the DA to address the rising cost of pork in the country, which is brought about by the persistence of African Swine Fever (ASF).

On Monday, the government, upon the recommendation of DA, also implemented a new price ceiling on pork, which will be implemented throughout Metro Manila.


The order particularly imposed a price cap of P270 per kilogram (/kg) for pork kasim and P300/kg for pork liempo. 


As of Tuesday, the prevailing retail price of pork stood at P270 to P300/kg at select markets in Metro Manila.   

Meanwhile, the latest report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the average farmgate price of hogs upgraded for slaughter during the last quarter of 2020 was P120.14/kg, liveweight.

This was higher by 21.6 percent from the average farmgate price of P98.82/kg, liveweight, in the same period of 2019.

During the reference period, the highest average farmgate price of hogs upgraded for slaughter was recorded in December at P126.61/kg, liveweight, while the lowest was noted in October at P111.51/kg, liveweight.

As of January of this year, the country’s total swine inventory was estimated at 9.72 million heads.  This was a decline of -24.1 percent from the previous year’s same period level of 12.80 million heads.

Population in backyard and commercial farms contracted by -13.3 percent and -41.8 percent, respectively.

Of the total swine population, 71.1 percent were raised in backyard farms while the remaining 28.9 percent were from commercial farms.

 
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