THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said most subcategories of the livestock sector reported increased production in the first quarter, led by chickens specialized for egg laying.
According to the PSA situation report for the quarter this year, chicken egg production grew by 7.42% year on year to 130,549 metric tons (MT).
The Calabarzon Region, representing the provinces directly south and east of Metro Manila, was the egg production leader in the quarter at 39,332 MT.
As of April 1, the inventory of layer chickens rose 7.15% year-on-year to 37.05 million. PSA said that due to increased production and chicken populations, farmgate prices for chicken eggs fell 4.52% year on year during the quarter.
Output of chicken grew 4.93% year on year to 439,956 MT, with broiler chicken, specifically raised for its meat, accounting for 79.89% of the total. Central Luzon produced 162,321 metric tons (MT) of chicken.
As of April 1, total chicken inventory was 184.23 million, up 2.96% from a year earlier.
Layer chicken numbers grew 7.15% while those for broiler chicken fell 1.11%.
The farmgate price for chicken during the quarter rose 5.68% year on year to P87.54 per kilogram (kg), liveweight.
Meanwhile, swine production grew 2.39% year on year to 558,730 MT.
As of April 1, PSA noted a 1.92% increase in swine population to 12.75 million, with commercial and backyard farm populations rising 4.82% and 0.34%, respectively, year-on-year.
Central Luzon accounted for 16.91% of the swine total, while Calabarzon and Western Visayas followed with 12.29% and 9.92%, respectively.
PSA recorded a 14.03% year-on-year increase in the farmgate price for live hogs at P112.56 per kg.
Carabao production grew 0.86% in the first quarter to 30,920 MT.
The carabao population rose 0.03% year on year during the quarter to 2.88 million head, led by a 0.04% increase in carabao numbers in backyard farms. The commercial farm population, on the other hand, dropped by 2.45%.
The farmgate price of carabao meant for slaughter rose 11.85% during the quarter to P92.85 per kg, liveweight.
Cattle production rose 0.02% to 61,986 MT, bolstered by production in Northern Mindanao, Ilocos, and Central Visayas, where output was 9,807 MT, 6,898 MT and 6,227 MT, respectively, making up nearly 40% of the total.
As of Jan. 1, the overall cattle population rose 0.25% year on year, after a 4.90% decrease in cattle numbers at commercial farms, while those in backyard farms rose 0.59%.
Calabarzon, Central Visayas and Ilocos cattle populations accounted for 33.12% of the national total.
The average farmgate price for cattle on a liveweight basis rose 7.55% year on year to P103.80 per kg. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato