THE United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is projecting a 10% decrease in the Philippines pork production for 2020 due to the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF), though it upgraded a previous estimate made in October due to effective disease-containment measures.
“Production is forecast to fall 10% year-over-year due to ASF impacts,” USDA said in its Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report. The agency is projecting volume of 1.475 million MT for 2020, down from 2019’s 1.640 million MT.
It noted that the latest estimate represents a 5% upgrade of its October projection of 1.4 million MT due to “higher-than-expected hog supplies and fewer disease impacts.” Imports projection are projected to decline 14% this year while domestic consumption is expected to fall 5%, to 1.775 million MT.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said in December that ASF cases are tapering off amid various control measures like movement restrictions which have confined the outbreak to Luzon.
According to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), pigs culled have totaled 147,334 head as of December 15, of which 18% were infected by the virus and the rest disposed of as a precautionary measure.
The disease was found in 612 barangays in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Tarlac, Rizal, Cavite, Pangasinan, and Metro Manila.
Hog raisers have said that the supply of pork is sufficient, as the culled pigs represent only a small portion of the entire herd, estimated at about 13.01 million head as of October.
ASF has also figured in upgraded estimates for chicken imports in 2020 as consumers avoid pork.
“Imports for 2019 are revised up 10% to 345,000 tons as consumers substitute chicken for pork following ASF outbreaks,” the USDA said. Domestic production is expected to increase 10% year-on-year to 1.6 million MT.
Domestic consumption of chicken is also expected to increase 11% year-on-year to 1.990 million MT. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang