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Hog Producers Blame Retailers for High Costs

by 5m Editor
13 January 2009, at 7:41am

THE PHILIPPINES - The Christmas holidays are over but retail prices of pork have increased by more than six per cent to as much as P180 per kilo from a week-ago and retailers and hog raisers are pointing fingers at each other.

A price monitoring report by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics of the Department of Agriculture showed that Metro Manila retail prices of pork liempo went up to P180 per kilo as of 8 January from P170 per kilo of 3 January while pork ham also increased by P10 per kilo to P170 from P160 per kilo.

According to Manila Bulletin Online, hog raisers have blamed the high cost of pork meats on the retailers saying that farm gate prices have not increased as much since December last year.

"Absolutely there is no reason why retail prices should go up that much because the average farm gate is only P105 per kilo," said Albert Lim, president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc.

Even at farm gate prices of P140 to P150 per kilo, Lim said that retail prices should have increased only to P175 per kilo. At the current farmgate rates, retail prices should have been lower.

According to Lim, farm gate prices have not moved much since December when demand was up and farm gate prices were at P100 to P102 and now P105.

Lim also noted that increase in farm gate prices was limited to P2 only per kilo despite the fact that prices of corn, which is converted into feed hogs, are now hitting P24 per kilo.

There could also be a shortage in local corn production because of the poor harvest, he said.

In December, corn prices were at P12 to P13 per kilo but prices shoot up to P18 per kilo before Christmas.

Lim said that as prices of corn go up, the backyard hog raisers are the first to be affected.

On the other hand, traders said there is really a shortage in hogs because of the "ebola" disease and the high price of corn.