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DTI mulls over safeguard duty to protect local poultry raisers

The Trade Department plans to coordinate with the Agriculture Department in imposing safeguard measures to protect local poultry growers from imports.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said poultry producers raised concerns over the oversupply of dressed chicken in the domestic market that resulted in low prices.

“We are supportive that production from their end was good, better even. But we have to help them address the problem of oversupply,” he said.

Retail prices of dressed chicken fell by as much as 32 percent to P92 to P95 per kilogram from P130 to P140 s kilo last year.

“Because of this, we’re double checking if there is a need to reimpose special safeguard measures on chicken imports,” Lopez said.

He said there might be a need to restrict the entry of imported chicken until prices of local poultry stabilized to profitable levels for local producers.

Lopez said small and medium scale chicken raisers, as well as big poultry producers and integrators, were having problems with oversupply.

Government data showed that poultry production rose 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 and accounted for 16.2 percent of total agricultural output.

Full-year poultry data showed that the poultry subsector expanded 5.8 percent in 2018.

The Trade Department vowed to make the necessary steps to prevent the sector from incurring production losses amid the persisting oversupply.

“We are in constant coordination with the Agriculture Department for any assistance they might need. We have the National Coordinating Council that constantly monitors prices of basic and prime commodities and we install intervention measure once we see that the prices already impact on consumers and producers,” Lopez said.

Topics: Department of Trade and Industry , Department of Agriculture , Ramon Lopez , National Coordinating Council
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