NEARLY 90,000 metric tons (MT) of pork imports due to come in under the expanded minimum access volume (MAV) quota have been issued import clearances, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said pork imports are beginning to arrive and is hoping the expanded supply will further reduce prices.
“As of today, (of) the supposedly 140,000 MT (of pork imports) due to arrive … almost 90,000 MT have been issued import clearances,” Mr. Dar said in a television interview Sunday.
The MAV Management Committee issued Resolution No. 1 in June that placed the additional 200,000 MT worth of pork imports under the expanded MAV for pork products on two timetables.
140,000 MT or 70% of pork imports are to arrive between July and October, while the remaining 30% or 60,000 MT must arrive between November and January.
According to the resolution, volumes are open to all importers on a first come-first served basis, with a maximum of 50 full container loads, estimated at 1,250 MT allowed per application per importer.
The expanded MAV is authorized by Executive Order (EO) No. 133, signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on May 10, which increased the MAV quota to 254,210 MT from the previous 54,210 MT.
Aside from expanding the MAV quota, Mr. Duterte also signed EO 134 which set the tariffs on imported pork within the MAV quota to 10% in the first three months and up to 15% in the following nine months; and out-of-quota pork imports to 20% and 25% over the same periods.
Expanded pork imports were a response to high pork prices due to the reduced hog inventory following the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.
The DA has announced that active ASF cases have been detected in 22 barangays across eight provinces as of Aug. 13.
The provinces with active ASF cases include Ilocos Norte, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan, Isabela, Leyte, and Samar. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave