New markets eyed for beef, pork exports

Posted on March 04, 2013

THE PHILIPPINES is eyeing to export beef and pork products to new markets this year in a bid to improve livestock and poultry raisers’ income.

THE PHILIPPINES has initiated talks with Papua New Guinea for pork exports, and Indonesia, for beef exports. -- Jonathan L. Cellona
"We are currently in talks with the governments of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea for the possible exportation of beef and pork products," said Rubina O. Cresencio, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) director, in a telephone interview last Saturday, adding the Philippines may export beef to Indonesia and pork to Papua New Guinea.

However, Ms. Cresencio said the talks are still at a stage where the Philippine government is asking what these foreign countries require.

"These are just potential markets that’s why we are touching base with them so we can find out what their requirements are or if there are any protocols that we must observe before we can export," she explained.

The Philippine livestock and poultry sector’s main advantage over other Asian countries is its foot and mouth disease (FMD) and avian influenza (AI) free status. Aside from this, the Philippines is also preparing its certification system for animal husbandry, biosecurity and animal welfare.

"These will help assure our trading partners that our products are disease-free and are of quality," Ms. Cresencio said.

Based on Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) data, actual cattle production last year was 254,000 metric tons (MT), 0.89% lower than 2011’s 256,000 MT. Hog production, on the other hand, grew by 1.71% to 1.97 million MT from 2011’s 1.94 million MT.

Although cattle production declined last year, Ms. Cresencio said that local livestock producers are able to increase their production based on the market’s demand.

The country exported a total of 14.87 million heads of cattle in 2011, 43.81% higher than 2010’s 10.34 million heads, BAS data showed. -- Raymond Jun R. Portillo