DOF: Tariff cuts are working, meat prices are starting to drop


The reduction in import tariffs on pork has lowered prices for the product since the middle of last month, which should help keep inflation under control, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

“Imports should be able to fill the domestic supply shortfall and help mitigate meat price inflation. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey, the price of (bone-in) pork in most areas declined slightly during the second half of May, ”said the Under Secretary of Finance and Economist in May. Chief Gil Beltran in an economic bulletin.

However, Beltran said the lingering impact of the African swine flu crisis will continue to put pressure on prices as domestic industry output remains affected.

Preliminary data from the PSA showed late pig inventories fell 22.6% in the first quarter of 2021, Beltran noted.

As such, Beltran said restocking pigs would be the medium to long term measure to address the supply issue.

Inflation in meat, especially pork, has pushed headline inflation above the government’s 2-4% target range, seen as a manageable rate of increase in commodity prices.

At the end of May, the inflation rate averaged 4.4% year-on-year.

In a June 9 report, the Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) said that “in ASEAN, we expect accommodative monetary policies to remain in place as inflationary pressures are subdued, except in the Philippines ”, where“ inflation took effect. above the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) target range for several months due to supply shocks.

“However, as Governor (Benjamin) Diokno [had] emphasized, the BSP is likely to examine these transitory shocks to inflation. Inflation has already started to slow in recent months, and we expect it to moderate further in the second half of the year, ”said IIR deputy chief economist Elina Ribakova and economist Benjamin Hilgenstock.

The BSP expects inflation to end 2021 at 3.9%. —BEN O. DE VERA INQ

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