In the Philippines, the government has embarked on a R90 million programme of re-stocking pig herds to increase the inventory of sows. Currently sow numbers are around 1.5 million, but the aim is to restore the former peak of 1.6 million in order to stabilise pig supply.

The moves come as pig prices in the Philippines have gone up to R200 per kilogram recently before settling in the range R180-195/kg. With the aim of easing local market prices, the governmental department of agriculture is encouraging the importation of 38 000 metric tons of pork under the minimum access volume programme in order to augment supplies. Although available previously, the access arrangement for about 54 000 tons/year has not been used by the private sector of meat companies over the past few years because there were enough supplies of pigs locally to make importing unnecessary.

The Philippines has imported pork from The USA and Europe, but ruled out imports from neighbouring Asian countries due to concerns over animal diseases in those places and the lack of good quarantine procedures.