Frozen pork inventory down in mid-March
As the threat of a pork holiday looms, latest data from the National Meat Inspection Service showed a decline in the country’s pork inventory.
As of mid-March, frozen pork in accredited cold storage facilities amounted to 12,746 metric tons, lower than the 12,925 metric tons reported in the same period last year.
The bulk of the inventory, or 5,481 metric tons are in Calabarzon. Metro Manila holds the second biggest inventory at 3,741 metric tons, followed by Central Luzon with 3,182 metric tons.
Based on data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, the country’s per capita consumption of pork is at 9.5 kilograms as of 2012. Assuming a population of 100 million, pork consumption would translate to 950 million kilos a year or 950,000 tons.
People in Metro Manila consume an average of 12.23 kilograms of pork a year. In Calabarzon, people eat an average of 11.09 kilograms of pork a year.
In Central Luzon, the per capita consumption is 12.5 kilograms a year.
An organization of farmers/livestock growers, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, has threatened to stage a five-day pork holiday, a nationwide synchronized move to disrupt pork supply in the country to protest the unabated smuggling of imported pork that has resulted in a fall in farm gate prices and losses for farmers.
The group is consulting backyard and commercial farms in the country to finalize the date of the pork holiday.
Of the total pork inventory in accredited cold storage facilities, only 2,516 tons are from local sources. Some 10,230 tons of pork in storage are imported.
An official of the agriculture department was quoted in media in late February/early March as saying that only 10 percent of the country’s pork inventory are imported and that 90 percent are from local producers.
The official urged Sinag to trace the origin of pork sold in wet markets. Imported pork, however, must be transported frozen to prevent spoilage. (Eileen A. Mencias)