PHILIPPINES, Manila. Since the first outbreak of ASF in August 2019, more than three million pigs have fallen victim to the disease in the Philippines, and pork has become a scarce and expensive commodity.
As a result, the government has decided to lower import tariffs to boost imports. According to trade data now published by the Danish Agriculture and Food Federation (L&F), this appears to be working. According to these, imports of chilled and frozen pork increased by 250% year-on-year to 35,750 t in the first quarter of 2021. The biggest beneficiary of this was Canada, which tripled its shipments to the archipelago to 13,150 t. Germany, still the most significant third-country supplier there in the first quarter of 2019, was banned from importing by the Philippines in July 2019 - before the first outbreak of ASF.
The second most important supplier of fresh pork is currently the US, which expanded its sales by 264% compared to the first quarter of 2020 to around 6,000 t. Spain, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Brazil also recorded a significant increase in their sales volumes. The Philippines also sourced noticeably more pork offal, with import volumes more than doubling to 46,740 t compared to the first three months of 2020. For this product group, Spain was the most important source of supply with 17,500 t; this was 95% more than in the same period last year. Canada increased its shipments of by-products to the Philippines by 88 percent to 5,980 t, while the Dutch tripled their sales to 5,250 t. France, the United Kingdom, Denmark and other EU countries up to Ireland also benefited from the higher import demand for fats, bacon, offal and other by-products. Germany, however, is also blocked for this product category.