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Medalla: Imports not the solution for high pork prices

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla said that importing pork is unlikely to resolve the inflation problem caused by high pork prices.

While the effects of the African Swine Fever were diminishing and the outlook for pork production was improving with the repopulation of hogs, a recent outbreak resulted in the culling of many pigs.

During a briefing livestreamed on Facebook from Washington DC, Medalla explained that there is a strong aversion to frozen meat in the Philippines, so imports cannot be the solution unlike in rice where liberalization solved the problem.

Despite the resurgence of ASF in Luzon and Mindanao, and the recent outbreak in Cebu, the US Foreign Agricultural Service predicted an increase in domestic pork production from 925,000 to 975,000 tons this year. However, the FAS also noted a decline in frozen pork inventory in accredited cold storage facilities and predicted lower pork consumption in 2023 due to food inflation.

Due to high pork prices in the international market and lower domestic demand, the US FAS forecasted a decrease in pork imports this year.

The FAS also added that some meat importers lost money last year because they imported a lot but faced lower demand.

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