Less PH chicken production seen

Published July 12, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Philippines is seen to produce and import less chicken this year amid tight demand and global supply, data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed.

In its latest report, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) here in Manila (Post) revised downward its outlook on the Philippines’ chicken meat production and imports for the year. For chicken meat output, it now expects the Southeast Asian nation to produce only 1.33 million metric tons (MT) from its earlier forecast of 1.36 million MT.

Post said the reduced forecast is in line with industry and government forecasts, citing the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showing that chicken production was 11 percent lower year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021.

In addition, Post also adjusted its 2021 official forecast for chicken imports from 350,000 MT to 330,000 MT on increasingly stressed supply chains.

“While official trade data remains mixed, Philippine meat processors, which account for the majority of poultry meat imports, have stressed difficulties sourcing MDM as long as European supplies remain restricted,” Post said.

From January to April, the global chicken meat exports increased by 25.56 percent from 123,500 MT to 155,064 MT, coming largely from United States, Brazil, European Union, Canada, China, and Turkey.

By year-end, the Philippines may also see a decline in demand for chicken meat from the earlier forecast of 1.7 million MT to 1.6 million MT.

United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) President Bong Inciong said in an earlier report that the Philippines’ poultry industry is still struggling to recover from the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to pull down farm-gate prices and demand.

“Even the legal importers are losing money because of the very low demand. They will do what we were forced to do which was to self-regulate,” Inciong said.

For its part, Post further said that “inventories of chicken meat in accredited cold storages, excluding MDM, have recovered but will increasingly have to compete with imported pork for limited space through at least 2021.”

To recall, Post also reported that despite the 401 percent surge in pork imports from January to April this year, the Philippines is still going to go even higher in the next months amid government policies that encourage the entry of more, cheaper imported pork into the country.