Small players at risk in chicken price war – Piñol
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol warned of a looming shortage of chicken in the country if stakeholders fail to agree on a common ground on prices.
“The stakeholders could not seem to agree on what to do, but I hope they will,” said Piñol, in an interview with the media on Tuesday.
Piñol said chicken have fallen to about P38 in some areas with farmers bearing the brunt of the price dive. “They should all agree to increase the farm gate price by at least P10 every week until such time they are able to reach the level where they will not be losing money anymore,” said Piñol.
Piñol warned that small players could be forced to fold due to the price war which could lead to a shortage by the second quarter of the year.
Piñol has ordered a review of chicken imports to ensure that these would not flood the market.
A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA report forecasts that the country’s total chicken meat imports could expand by 9.67 percent to 340,000 metric tons (MT) in 2019, from the estimated purchases of
310,000 MT last year.
The USDA forecasts that global chicken meat exports will grow four percent, setting a new record this year. Shipments by major traders are fueled largely by rising consumption in developing markets, such as the Philippines, Angola, Cuba and Ghana.
For July-December 2018 period, the poultry sub-sector produced 5.45 percent more output. It contributed 18.44 percent to the total agricultural production. Output gains were noted for chicken, chicken
eggs and duck eggs.
Poultry production in 2018 is worth P 56.1 billion, higher by 19.19 percent compared to 2017 earnings.
The subsector’s output grew by 5.31 percent in the last three quarters of 2018.
Under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement with trade partners, Piñol said the Philippines could institute remedies to protect local industries from being injured by over-importation.
Stocks in the cold storage right for local chicken stands at 18 million kilograms while imported chicken is at 16 million kg. “That would represent over supply. The market could not absorb (such
volume),” he said.
Under the situation, he said big players would tend to lower the price of chicken to the detriment of local producers.
The DA chief said once and for all, stakeholders and farmers “should agree among themselves (on the price of chicken) to protect themselves”. (PNA)