Meat importation causes food prices to soar

Blame it on meat importation, its rising volume is expected to increase food prices.

MANILA — Even if the rising volume of meat imports boosted domestic supply, the Department of Finance (DOF) expects an elevated rate of increase in food prices to peak this month.

“Food price inflation is expected to peak this month as imports rise to boost domestic supply,” says Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil S. Beltran in a report submitted to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

He says food price inflation has stabilized as it maintained its pace at 4.88 percent in June and May.

Last month, average prices of rice, fruits, and vegetables declined by 1.1 percent, 0.64 percent, and 2.71 percent, respectively, muting the higher-than-average inflation in the prices of meat (19.24 percent) and fish (8.66 percent).

According to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), the country’s total meat importations reached 581,827.61 metric tons in the first six months of 2021, up 44 percent compared with a year earlier.

The agency says pork imports, which cornered nearly half of the total meat shipments jumped 176 percent at end-June to 277,850.59 metric tons.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture’s daily price monitoring report shows the average retail prices of pork kasim and pork liempo at select markets in Metro Manila were at P330 to P360 per kilo and P370 to P380 per kilo, respectively.

Beltran, however, says bolstering food productivity is still necessary for long-term food price (JD/The MiNT)

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