Philippine pig farmers forced to shut piggeries

01-10-2008 | |

Hog producers in the Philippines are warning that low farm gate prices and market distortion has the potential to force many of them to shut down their piggeries.

Albert Lim Jr., president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers considers the low demand and the increase in pork importation by meat traders, as the primary causes of the industry’s problems. “The current situation is unprecedented, and has significantly affected the whole hog industry,” said Lim.

Farm gate prices
While farm gate prices have gone down significantly, it is not reflected in the pricing at the markets, which also affects the consumers’ buying power. Farm gate prices currently average at a high of P82 per kilogram and a low of P78 per kilogram. Before the Holy Week, the average price was between P115 to P117 per kilogram.

Lim pointed out that pork is still selling in the wet markets at an average of between P150 to P175 per kilogram, “turning off many consumers who are already suffering from the hike in the prices of basic commodities.”

While it is traditional for farm gate prices to go down after the Holy Week, it has not stopped going down. “It did go down, slowly in the beginning, but we did not expect it to continue until now,” Lim said.

Information campaign
It has been reported that members of the NFHFI’s Council of Presidents have suggested that the Department of Agriculture come out with an information campaign to inform consumers of the right pricing for pork products.

The Agriculture department can post the SRP of pork products outside the wet markets so consumers are aware of the prices of pork and can themselves call the attention of the retailers.

“We have no control over the traders and the retailers, but as consumers, we can tell retailers that they should be selling their products at the right price,” he said. “This way, everyone comes out a winner as consumers get lower prices and will buy more pork and producers can sell more hogs.”

Domino effect
Lim said if the current trend of low farm gate prices is not addressed, it will have a domino effect in the pork production all over the country.

He added: “This situation is a double whammy for hog producers, especially those who were hit by the swine diseases last year. Now that they have recovered from the effects of the disease, they cannot sell their hogs because of the low farm gate prices and low demand.” The situation is prompting many hog farms to contemplate shutting down their businesses due to the high cost of production.

Click here for the free Pig Progress newsletter

Join 18,000+ subscribers

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated about all the need-to-know content in the pigsector, three times a week.