Response to the inflationary threat: more imported pork and fish

A fish vendor at the Commonwealth Market in Quezon City holds locally sourced “galunggong” or round scads to entice customers to buy Wednesday, August 22, 2018. The Department of Agriculture (DA) has authorized the import of “galunggong” to cope with the rising price of the variety of fish on the market. A group of fishermen protest against the importation of said variety of fish.

MANILA, Philippines — Shortages of food items like pork, fish and corn would add to upward inflationary pressures, compounded by expensive oil sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the agency said. State Planning, National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

In a report on Monday, Neda said that in early April, projections showed that crude oil prices in Dubai were likely to rise from $110.9 per barrel last March to $103.7 per barrel in May and then to 92 dollars a barrel by the end of the year. “While oil prices remain high and highly volatile, government measures to cushion price pressures remain proactive,” Neda said, referring to the total of 47.5 billion pesos in aid for
sectors most affected by high fuel prices.

“As of March 23, approximately 115,000 PUV [public utility vehicle] the drivers and operators have already received their P6,500 subsidy each under the Pantawid Pasada scheme. A second tranche is expected to be distributed in April,” Neda said.

He added that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has also released 7 billion pesos to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the PUV service contract program, or “Libreng Sakay”.

In addition, Neda said that “more than 158,000 maize farmers and fishermen registered under the Agriculture Basic Sector Registration Scheme are also expected to receive P3,000 as a fuel subsidy.”

As the government grapples with expensive fuel, Neda said forecast shortages in the supply of some food items could push prices up this year.

Neda said that while rice and chicken stocks, as well as highland vegetable supplies, will show surpluses over demand this year, “deficits are expected for lowland vegetables, pork , fish and corn”.

“For lowland vegetables, the local production outlook is expected at 1.3 million metric tons (MT) for 2022, or only 80.2% of local demand,” Neda said.

“Similarly, the pork supply shortfall is estimated at 197,600 MT, despite the arrival of imports under Executive Orders (EO) Nos. 133 and 134. The minimum pork access volume (MAV) more remained underutilized – out of 200,000 MT, less than 40 percent was utilized,” Neda said.

“A year-round fish supply deficit is expected due to a faster increase in demand. The indirect impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict through higher international wheat and maize prices will partly contribute to the maize supply shortfall for the 2021-2022 marketing year, even after considering alternative food supplies for animals such as cassava,” Neda added.

While the Tariff Commission has already begun investigating the feasibility of EOs 133 and 134 – extending lower pork import tariffs at a higher quota until the end of 2022 – Neda said that “an unload faster cold store pork stocks is needed”.

“As of the fourth week of March, the average frozen pork inventory has been steadily decreasing since November 2021 but remains higher than in 2019,” Neda said.

Last month, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary and Neda Chief Karl Kendrick Chua urged President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the 15% in-quota and 25% pork tariff rates until December 2022. % out of quota under MAV plus.

Regarding fish, Neda urged the Ministry of Agriculture (DA) to “facilitate the immediate distribution of imported fish under the CNI”. [certificate of necessity to import] for the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, and consider the additional issuance of CNI for the second to fourth quarters” of this year.

Neda noted that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) now expects average headline inflation of 4.3% in 2022 – above the target range of 2-4% manageable price increases conducive to growth. economic, due to “the impact of the global rise in commodity prices”. prices and a shortage of domestic pork and fish supplies.



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