MANILA — The retail price of some premium Christmas food items like ham will likely increase, as higher manufacturing costs offset lower pork prices due to the African swine fever outbreak, the trade department said.
Manufacturing costs rose 30 to 60 percent, which could push the prices of premium fare for Noche Buena by 2 to 9 percent. Some traders also imported meat requirements for Christmas hams, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Prices of cheaper products did not move, Lopez told DZMM.
"Takot din silang maipasa ang presyo kasi walang bibili e saka baka lumipat sa ibang brands," he added.
(They're also afraid to increase prices because consumers might not buy or patronize other brands.)
The DTI is inspecting markets daily to ensure that chicken prices do not exceed P180 per kilo as consumers switch to poultry from pork.
African swine fever does not affect humans despite causing hemorrhagic fever in pigs that almost always ends in death. An outbreak of the virus in parts of Rizal and Bulacan provinces has prompted authorities to cull around 7,000 hogs.
Pork accounts for 60 percent of meat consumption in the Philippines, the world's 8th biggest pork producer by volume, with its swine industry estimated at P260 billion, the Department of Agriculture earlier said.