HOG PRODUCTION on a live weight basis fell 25.8% year on year in the first quarter to 421,794 metric tons (MT), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

In a report, the PSA said Central Visayas was the top hog producer during the first quarter with 53,660 MT, followed by Northern Mindanao at 50,830 MT, and Western Visayas 48,931 MT.

“These three regions accounted for 36.4% of the country’s total hog production,” the PSA said.

Central Luzon posted a 75.8% decline to 27,194 MT during the first quarter.

According to the PSA, the total swine inventory as of April 1 was 9.55 million animals, down 22.6% from a year earlier.

“Western Visayas recorded the highest swine population with 1.203 million head. This was followed by Central Visayas with 1.197 million and Northern Mindanao at 1.093 million. These three regions comprised 36.6% of the country’s total swine population,” the PSA said.

During the quarter, the PSA said the average farmgate price of hogs for slaughter on a live weight basis was P153.70 per kilogram, up 47.2% increase from a year earlier.  

Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, Inc. President-elect Rolando E. Tambago said in a mobile phone message that the lower hog inventory was depleted by the African Swine Fever (ASF) and voluntary culling by hog raisers.

“Majority of swine farmers in Luzon were forced by the situation to temporarily stop operations before ASF hit them,” Mr. Tambago said.

“Production will only increase once the (ASF) vaccine is available as farmers have no confidence to invest without it,” he added.

In a separate report, the PSA said chicken production on a live weight basis for the quarter fell 11.2% year on year to 402,768 MT.

Central Luzon had the highest chicken output at 131,935 MT, followed by Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) with 73,953 MT, and Northern Mindanao 38,334 MT.

“These three regions (accounted for) 60.7% to the country’s total chicken production,” the PSA said.

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao posted the sharpest decline in production of 50.6% to 844 MT.

According to PSA, the chicken inventory increased 0.6% to 179.13 million birds as of April 1.

Native chicken accounted for 81.66 million birds, followed by broiler chicken at 54.33 million, and layer chicken 43.14 million.

“The average farmgate price of broiler chicken in commercial farms during the quarter was P111.95 per kilogram, live weight. This was 31.2% higher than the previous year’s same-quarter average price of P85.33 per kilogram, live weight,” the PSA said.

United Broiler Raisers Association President Elias Jose M. Inciong said in a mobile phone message that demand was weak due to quarantine restrictions.

“There is lower demand from hotels, restaurants, and households. People do not have money anymore,” Mr. Inciong said.

The PSA said chicken egg production during the quarter rose 3% year on year to 152,547 MT.

“Those who suffered losses in hogs and broilers transferred to the layer industry. This is due to no imports. It is a more stable industry,” Mr. Inciong said.

Calabarzon was the top chicken egg producing region at 49,352 MT, followed by Central Luzon with 31,749 MT, and Central Visayas 15,400 MT.  The three regions accounted for 63.3% of total production. 

“The average farmgate price of chicken egg in commercial farms during the quarter was quoted as P5.79 per piece. This was 3.5% higher than the average farmgate price of P5.59 per piece in the same period of 2020,” it added.

Cattle production on a live weight basis fell 10.2% year on year to 54,426 MT.

Northern Mindanao was the top producer with 10,619 MT, followed by the Ilocos Region at 6,214 MT, and Western Visayas 4,973 MT.

“These three regions (accounted for) 40% to the country’s total cattle production,” the PSA said.  

The PSA said that as of Jan. 1, the total cattle inventory was 2.63 million head, up 3.3% from a year earlier.

“The average farmgate price of cattle for slaughter during the quarter was quoted at P141.38 per kilogram, live weight. This was 12.4% higher than the average price of P125.78 per kilogram, live weight in the same quarter of 2020,” the PSA said.

On May 10, the PSA said the value of production in the agriculture sector at constant 2018 prices fell 3.3% in the first quarter. Livestock production fell 23.2% while poultry output dropped 7.4%. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave