Thailand extends ban on hog, pork imports from Philippines

THAILAND has extended an import ban on live pigs and carcasses from the Philippines as an African Swine Fever (ASF) containment measure.

The import ban was originally set to end in late April but was extended to August due to the continued presence of ASF in the Philippines, Thailand said in a notification to the World Trade Organization Wednesday.

“This emergency measure is to protect the domestic livestock industry,” Thailand said.

The Philippine hog industry does not expect to be affected by the ban.

Edwin G. Chen, president of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, said in a mobile message that its members do not export to Thailand.

Meat Importers and Traders Association President Jesus C. Cham said the same, noting that Thailand has a strong agriculture industry of its own.

Cases of ASF are still detectable in 19 barangays in the Philippines, the Bureau of Animal Industry said Tuesday, down from more than 2,700 affected barangays since August 2019.

Pork prices have soared due to the curbing of supply as a result of the ASF outbreak.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte last month approved a recommendation to temporarily reduce import duties on pork for a year to increase supply.

Under Executive Order No. 134, the tariff rates for pork products were reset to 10% for imports within the minimum access volume quota and 20% outside the quota for the first three months. The tariffs will rise to 15% for in-quota and 25% for out-of-quota pork imports between the fourth and 12th months.

The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura association wrote to the Tariff Commission in March seeking higher import duties, noting that importers were profiting from a tariff rate that it said has no impact on the retail price of prime pork cuts. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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