Hog producers in the Philippines made the decision to raise the farmgate prices of hogs by 33% recently. With increased demand due to the coming Christmas season, prices are likely to rise further.
Hog prices have seen significant increases over the years. From the liveweight price of P55 per kilo in October 2002, the figure grew by 9% to P60 per kilo in 2003 and P77 per kilo last month.
The retail price of pork in the wet markets had remained unchanged at P90 per kilo in October 2002 and 2003. However the price jumped to P120 per kilo last month.
Retailers pointed out that with the Christmas season around the corner, higher demand will probably cause prices to increase even more.
Consumers are concerned with the recent hike in farmgate hog prices. This is despite the Department of Agriculture (DA) stating earlier that steps are taken to prevent any runaway prices of food products stemming from perceived shortages during the Christmas season.
Although the hog industry was among the sectors persuaded by the DA to maintain current prices until the end of the year, producers did not make a commitment to keep their prices at present levels.
Last month, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap met with representatives from the Philippine Association of Broiler Integrators (PABI), the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA), the Vegetable Council, the Philippine Alliance of Philippine Fishing Federation Inc., the Tilapia Producers Group of Bulacan, the hog sector as well as the National Market Vendors Association (NAMVESCO), an organization of retailers.
UBRA and PABI, two associations of chicken producers, pledged to keep farmgate prices at a range of P60 to P62 a kilo on condition that corn feed prices will remain at current levels. They also asked for the continuation of the special safeguards law, which limits imports.
The Philippine Egg Board has committed to keep the price of medium-size table egg price to P3.50 per piece till the end of the year as well.