The Philippines’ poultry industry is still struggling to recover from the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to pull down farm-gate prices and demand.

United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) President Bong Inciong said the farm-gate price for poultry products, as well as the demand, has remained low since last year.  

“Even the legal importers are losing money because of the very low demand. They will do what we were forced to do which was to self-regulate,” Inciong said in a text exchange.

As of last week, UBRA observed that in Central Luzon in particular, the farm-gate price of prime size chicken (1.7 kilograms and up) ranges from P63 to P64, compared to the average price for prime size chicken of P68.25.

In other areas like Pampanga, Bulacan, and Cavite, prices range from P63 to P73 apiece for prime size chicken.

Earlier this year, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Reildrin Morales said there is a looming shortage in the supply of day-old chicks (DOC), which are raised to become broilers, this year. This is because of the “controls made in the breeder population last year”.

“The price of chicken went down last year because of COVID-19 related measures, which forced closures of markets (hotels, restaurants, fast food, etc.) [that is why] breeders cut down their production,” Morales said.  

Based on data from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), the country has a total inventory of 33,014 MT of dressed chicken in cold storages as of June 14. This is lower compared to 84,202.54 MT recorded in the same period last year.

Of this, 20,212 MT were imported overseas, while 12,801.80 came from local production.

In its latest report, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) here in Manila (Post) said the Philippines’ low broiler production is also affecting the demand for corn feed in the country.

Post said in the report, released last Friday, that the country’s corn feed demand will remain under pressure due to lower poultry and hog production, pointing out that the broiler production dropped 10 percent in 2020 due to the extended lockdown restrictions.

For this year, Post expects broiler production to grow only by 2 percent. It will only accelerate further in 2022 as economic restrictions are loosened.

From January to March of this year, estimated total chicken production stood at 402,770 metric tons (MT), 11.2 percent lower than the previous year’s quarterly output of 453,720 MT (both live weight), based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

When asked about asking for government support, Inciong said the industry no longer expects anything from the Department of Agriculture (DA). 

“[They have] no long-term strategy. If there are complaints, their decision would automatically be to import,” Inciong further said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (