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DoF: Keep imports to stabilize prices

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Government indicated its inclination to maintain the current level of imporations as a hedge against rising prices after the National Economic Development Authority pinpointed meat prices as a factor that is pushing inflation higher.

“The country would definitely need to continue importing pork products to meet demand and immediately compensate for the shortfall in domestic supply as it will take some time to recover decimated hog populations,” the Department of Finance said in its latest economic bulletin.

“For perspective, the seasonal peak in pre-ASF (African Swine Flu) hog headcount was 13.1 million in the third quarter of 2018; hog inventory fell to less than 9.9 million as of the end of the third quarter in 2021,” it added.

Meat inflation increased 16.8 percent in 2021, the highest annual price rise of any major food item since 2012.

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