PAMPI seeks reprieve to cut imports of MDM chicken

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By Alithea De Jesus

As the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) welcomes the move taken by President Rodrigo Duterte in allowing the increase of pork imports to bolster the meat processing industries in the Philippines, this time the industry appeals to also allow the importation of the MDM (Mechanically Deboned Meat) chicken.

In the statement sent to thephilbiznews.com, PAMPI Vice-President and CDO Foodsphere CEO Jerome D. Ong said, “The entire industry is grateful to President Duterte in allowing the increase of pork importaton in the country, however, we also extend our appeal to also allow the importation of the MDM chicken which is a vital raw material for processed meats.”

Below is the full statement of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI):

ON HIGHER PORK IMPORTS:

In the first 5 months of this year, we observed a surge of 147% in pork import volumes vs. year ago. This is due to President Duterte’s issuance of EO 128 last March 26 reducing in-quota and out-quota rates.

Meat processors consider this a welcome development as it help us manage our costs and minimize price adjustments. Please note that global pork prices remain high so the lower import duties mitigate the impact. But the ultimate victor here is the Filipino consumer who now has access to more affordable pork.

Before the Executive order was issued, people had to pay Php 400-420 for a kilo of local pork, an amount that practical depletes his daily wage.

This is clearly a win-win situation for both consumers and hog raisers as they gradually rebuild their inventory. It is surprising to note, that a certain group claiming to represent the farmers, filed a petition with the tariff commission to raise import taxes again to levels even higher than before the Executive order.

ON LOWER MDM IMPORTS:

Over the same period, imports of MDM Chicken declined by 33%, the first time it declined in the past 10 years.

This is expected, as the current import restrictions from many countries, especially from EU which used to supply 60% of our needs, is practically shut down. Limited supply from the few remaining country sources led to spiralling MDM prices, at levels 150-200% higher than last year’s.

We continue to appeal to the Dept of Agriculture and the Bureau of Animal Industry to relax restrictions in accordance with OIE guidelines, so that trade may slowly normalize and our sector can continue to provide steady supply of affordable meat protein to the masses.

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