Consumers Shift to Buying Chicken

PHILIPPINES - A shift in consumer demand for meat products has caused pork prices to drop by as much as 20 pesos (PHP) per kilo, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said yesterday.
calendar icon 21 September 2010
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In a radio interview, DA Assistant Secretary Salvador said the consumer shift from pork to chicken has brought down pork prices to about PHP160 to PHP170 a kilo from PHP180 to PHP190 a kilo in the first half of this year.

“The primary reason behind this is the shift in consumer demand. There is a close shifting pattern between pork and chicken, where Filipinos tend to shift to chicken commodity when pork prices are high, and vice-versa,” Mr Salacup said.

“Since chicken prices are much lower for now, Filipinos tend to favour broilers, resulting to lower prices in swine products,” the official added.

According to The Manila, last Saturday, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said DA, poultry raisers and market vendors have agreed on a standard reference price of PHP100 per kilogram for unbranded dressed chicken and PHP110 for branded chicken.

Dressed chicken now sells at PHP120 per kilogram, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics said.

The department earlier reported that farm gate price of live chickens went down to PHP57 to PHP50 a kilo because of the surplus in supply. According to farmers, the break-even price for chicken production is PHP58 to PHP60.

To stem further losses, local poultry farmers threatened to suspend their operations, which may result to a shortage of chicken by the end of the year.

In line with this, Salacup said that DA will continue to monitor the prices in the coming months, when demand for the two commodities traditionally goes up.

DA Assistant Secretary for Livestock, Davinio Catbagan, had said the department would be meeting with poultry industry stakeholders today to discuss the possible intervention the government can do to ensure a stable supply of chicken in time for the holiday season.

Mr Catbagan said the government would try to avert the need to import chicken by the end of the year to bridge any supply gap.

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