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The country’s meat imports in January to May rose by almost 5 percent year-on-year to 460,000 metric tons (MT), the latest Bureau of Animal Industry data showed.

Figures from BAI showed that meat imports during the five-month period were 20,915.912 MT higher than the 439,986.873 MT recorded a year ago.

BAI data showed that higher pork imports drove the increase in the overall volume of imported meat products during reference period. BAI data showed that imports of chicken, buffalo meat, beef and even duck meat products declined year-on-year.

The country’s pork imports during the five-month period expanded by 16.23 percent to 250,928.838 MT from 215,883.294 MT in the same period of last year, based on BAI data. Pork imports accounted for 54.44  percent of the total meat imports from January to May.

BAI data showed that imports of pork cuts and pork bellies, which accounted for about half of the total pork imports, reached 127,952.354 MT.

Imports of pork cuts and pork bellies benefited from the lower pork tariffs rates implemented by the government to boost domestic supply amid the lackluster domestic pork production due to the devastation caused by African swine fever (ASF).

BAI data showed that imports of pork cuts and pork bellies grew by almost 30.76 percent from last year’s 97,848.393 MT.

The country’s chicken meat imports declined by 4.57 percent to 130,530.549 MT from last year’s 136,790.391.

BAI data showed that the country’s chicken imports rose by 10.18 percent year-on-year to 15,466.855 MT while imports of mechanically deboned meat (MDM) chicken grew by 14.6 percent on an annual basis to 82,354.645 MT.

The increase in the country’s purchases of imported chicken cuts and chicken MDM, however, was not enough to boost the overall volume of imported poultry products, which took a hit because of the 36.72-percent year-on-year decline in imports of chicken leg quarters.

BAI data showed that shipments of chicken leg quarters during the five-month period reached 29,786.56 MT, 17,291.308 MT lower than last year’s 47,077.868 MT.

Figures from the attached agency of the Department of Agriculture also indicated that the country’s imports of beef, buffalo meat, duck meat, and turkey meat contracted during the period.

Beef imports fell by 5.69 percent to 62,879.526 MT from last year’s 66,677.759 MT while buffalo meat imports declined by 18.43 percent to 16,015.832 MT from 19,634.598 MT last year.

BAI data showed that duck meat imports plunged by 61.9 percent year-on-year to 20.509 MT while turkey meat imports fell 64.62 percent to 251.269 MT.