Meat imports dip on lower consumption of pork

MANILA  -The country’s meat imports exceeded the 900-million kilogram mark in the nine months to September even as Filipinos consumed less pork during that period.

The volume of imported meat stood at 923.16 million kg from January to September this year, down by 8.6 percent from 1.01 billion kg in the same period a year ago, based on latest data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

It was also lower than last month’s figure of 115.11 million kg.  Between May and July, meat imports were on the downtrend.

In September alone, the country procured 105.81 million kg of meat imports, a decline of 33.1 percent from 158.2 million kg previously.

“I believe it’s more on the uptrend on local production and depressed pork consumption,” Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines Inc. president Rolando Tambago said.

Pork still takes the lion’s share of the total meat imports, accounting for almost 50 percent or 458.7 million kg, and the bulk of which was pork offal. This, however, reflects a decline of 15.9 percent year-on-year from 545.21 million kg.

Chicken remained second with 324.98 million kg, an increment of 10.6 percent from 293.86 million kg previously.

More than half was mechanically deboned or mechanically separated chicken—a key ingredient in processed meat products often used as filing or extenders.