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Meat prices still soaring

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III / GILBERT P. BAYORAN

An employee of the Provincial Veterinary Office inspects the meat in a container seized during an operation against the spread of African swine fever* PVO photo

Meat prices in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, continued to increase, as of yesterday, with pork and broiled chicken registering the highest increment at P20 and P23, respectively.

Pork is sold for P225.10 per kilo, from P204 per kilo previously, while broiled chicken costs P182.86 per kilo from P150.35 last week, the Provincial Veterinary Office report showed.

It added that the cost of carabao beef also increased by P3, and is now sold at P267 per kilo from P264, beef at P280 from P274, or a difference of P6, and chevron, or goat meat, at P337 from P329, or an increase of P8.

Native chicken is still sold at P253 per kilo.

Provincial Veterinarian, Renante Decena, said the provincewide delivery system and marketing affect the weekly prices of meat as live animals transacted two weeks ago are still in the inventory of the livestock raisers.

Decena said the livestock raisers continue to hold on to their products as they wait for the increase in the buying price, since it has dramatically decreased following the implementation of the price cap on meat products in Metro Manila.

He said this also triggered the decrease in supply and was the reason why the shipment of hogs from Negros Occidental decreased last week.

The PVO weekly quota is to ship out at least 1,500 hogs but, last week, they were only able to export 708 live hogs to Luzon and other parts of the Visayas, or short of about 44 percent from the target, based on the report they sent to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson.

TRADERS BLAMED

Lacson said the vendors earlier complained that commercial and backyard hog raisers were manipulating the prices.

“Obviously, it was not,” he said, adding that the live weight per kilo of pork even dropped by P20.

“The traders are always the ones making money,” he said.

In EB Magalona, pork prices rose from P220 to P240 per kilo.

Decena said that the backyard hog raisers in Negros Occidental are the biggest suppliers of pork meat products in Metro Manila.

Pork prices have soared, especially in the National Capital Region, as the local hog industry battles the spread of ASF, that has disrupted the operations of hog farms in Batangas, Bulacan, and nearby provinces, prompting hog raisers in the Visayas and Mindanao to supply Metro Manila.

Decena stressed that despite the increasing cost of meat products in the market, there is no need to implement a price cap in Negros Occidental since it is still manageable, compared to other provinces.

He added that meat sellers and traders should not manipulate the prices.

He also urged members of the Alliance of Hog Raisers Association of Negros Occidental to download their stocks at the right time.

EGG PRICES

The prices of eggs also increased, based on the monitoring of the PVO, as of yesterday.

Small eggs cost P6.66 per piece, medium – P7.33, large – P8, extra large – P8.61, and salted P12.78.

APPREHENSIONS

The PVO was also able to confiscate 268 grams of meat, valued at P59,575, in relation to its campaign against the African swine fever, from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, Decena said.

He said they were also able to intercept 2,396 refrigerated vans and vehicles at the ports of Escalante and San Carlos, the Bredco port in Bacolod, and at the animal quarantine checkpoint in Kabankalan City. Decena also said the intercepted vehicles were from the provinces of Negros Oriental, Cebu, Iloilo, Cavite, Capiz, Bulacan, Batangas, and Metro Manila.*

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