By Jasper Y. Arcalas, May 3 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business World

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is keen on exporting pork to China, which is being devastated by African swine fever (ASF), to reduce the reported domestic oversupply and provide hog raisers additional profit.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said the plan is to take advantage of China’s huge demand for pork as its hog population is currently being wiped out by the dreaded ASF.

Exporting locally produced pork to China, especially by commercial raisers, would open additional market for Filipino raisers and reduce domestic supply glut, which has sent hog farm-gate prices below profitable levels, Piñol added.

“We are seriously looking at exporting pork to China because of what is going on with its hog industry,” he said in an interview with reporters on Thursday. “Once the big players start exporting pork, then our local hog producers would have a breather. And I am positive that it will stabilize the prices,” he added.

The agriculture chief said the increasing global meat prices, particularly for pork, is enticing for huge Philippine-based hog raisers, such as Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corp. (CP Foods).

“CP Foods is very positive to export pork to China, as they are already arranging their documents such as compliance with the SPS [sanitary and phytosanitary] measures,” Piñol said.

Piñol said he would go to China on May 16 to follow-up discussions on agricultural bilateral trade, including the possibility of exporting pork.

He added that the DA eyes to export pork “as soon as possible” but with its timeline being within the year.

“The moment farmers will feel that there is a market for their produce, they will produce more. That is the motivation—it is not a question if we are capable of supplying, but if there is demand,” Piñol said.

“And China right now has a huge shortfall in supply as they have started to cull, including their sows, and it would take years before they could recover. So, it would be easier for us to export pork to them since they are in dire need,” he added.