The Ministry of Finance (DOF) has urged authorities to be “more liberal” with imports after meat and fish prices rose at a much faster pace in November compared to the previous month.
In a Monday, Dec. 13 economic bulletin, Chief Financial Economist Gil S. Beltran noted that meat prices rose 2.41% month-over-month in November, the pork supply continuing to fall below demand levels.
Fish princes also jumped 2.06% last month with the start of the closed fishing season, Beltran said.
“The senior mother [month-on-month] meat and fish inflation reminds authorities to adopt more liberal import measures to meet peak demand during the holiday season,” Beltran said.
The latest data from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed a slower arrival of pork imports with only 42% utilization of the expanded Pork Minimum Access Volume (MAV) at the end of November.
At the same time, unreleased inventory of frozen pork was reported at 76,953 metric tons.
The National Economic Development Authority said slow imports and stock release, along with increased demand due to the Christmas season, led to higher average pork prices in November.
Meanwhile, the DA has already approved the import of 60,000 metric tons of fish in the last quarter of the year amid the closed fishing season in several coastal areas of the country.
The closure of the fishing season is imposed each year in the following areas: in the Gulf of Davao from June 1 to August 31; the Visayan Sea from November 15 to February 15; the Sulu Sea from December 1 to February 28; and northeast Palawan from November to January.
The country’s headline inflation rate in November slowed further to 4.2% from 4.6% in October. For the first 11 months of the year, the average rate was 4.46%.
Food inflation decreased from 5.65% in October to 4.15% in November with the deceleration of price inflation for the following products: meat, from 11.85% to 10.65%; fish, 9.46 percent to 7.91 percent; and vegetables, 11.39 percent to minus 1.85 percent.
However, non-food price inflation accelerated further, from 3.85% in October to 4.10% last month, mainly due to: the utilities and fuels subgroup, 11.13% to 12.32%; and the transport group, from 7.06% to 8.84%.
The price of crude oil in Dubai averaged $79.80 a barrel in November, down from $42.58 in the same month last year, but down from $81.22 a barrel in October this year. year.
The price of oil in Dubai in October was the highest since November 2014.
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