Chicken, pig and cattle production up in first quarter

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the production of chickens, pigs and cattle in the country increased in the first three months of 2023.

Chicken production was estimated at 470,210 metric tons live weight from January to March 2023, indicating an annual increase of 3.3 percent from 455,040 tons live weight in the same period in 2022.

As of March 31, 2023, the total number of chickens reached 195.48 million birds, which is 3.0% more than in the same period of the previous year, when there were 189.71 million birds.

Central Luzon was the leading producer of chicken with a live weight of 162,440 tons or 33.75 million birds, accounting for 34.5% of the total chicken production.

It was followed by Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) with 81,060 tonnes or 28.62 million birds and Northern Mindanao with 21.26 million birds or 44,220 tonnes.

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Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said the continued rise in domestic chicken production in the first quarter of this year may have been driven by higher prices.

“Better weather conditions and higher selling prices could lead to increased production as well as higher demand as the economy recovers and moves closer to normal,” he said.

The average selling price for broiler chickens was 116.14 pesos per kilogram (kg) during the quarter, up 9.9% from the average selling price for the same period the previous year of 105.70 pesos per kg.

Meanwhile, pig production for the same period was 437,990 tons, up 5.1% from 416,720 tons in January-March 2022.

As of March 2023, the total number of pigs in the country was estimated at 10.18 million heads, up 4.2% from the same period last year, when there were 9.77 million heads.

Calabarzon recorded the highest yield of pigs with a live weight of 61,180 tons, or 14% of the total pig production.

The farm pig price reached 170.26 pesos per kg, down 3.3 percent from 176.01 pesos per kg in the same quarter last year.

Ricafort noted that pig production has increased despite African swine fever, which has hit more areas or provinces in recent months, especially in parts of the southern Philippines or the Visayas.

He added that the decrease in selling prices could be due to increased imports of pork or meat products to increase local supplies.

Meanwhile, the country’s cattle production increased by 1.9 percent or 53,890 tons compared to 52,890 tons recorded in the same period of the previous year.

During this period, Northern Mindanao was the leading cattle producer with a share of 11,260 tons or 20.9% of the total cattle production.

The total number of cattle is estimated at 2.7 million heads, which is 0.2% less compared to the same period last year, which was 2.58 million heads.

The Central Visayas recorded the highest number of cattle at 341,060 as of the end of March 2023.

According to the PSA, the average cattle selling price for slaughter was 169.33 pesos per kg, up 22.7 percent from the previous year’s average selling price of 138.00 pesos per kg.