Double whammy: Oil, pork price hikes hit consumers

Oil companies raised the price of diesel and kerosene by P0.50 per liter and P0.30 per liter, respectively effective 6 a.m. Tuesday to reflect the movement of oil prices in the international market.

Double whammy: Oil, pork price hikes hit consumers
Consumers are faced with rising prices of pork as well as diesel and kerosene (below) amid a scarce supply due to the African swine fever that devastated the hog industry in Luzon and rising prices of oil in the international market.
Gasoline prices, however, did not go up.

Oil prices have been going up in the past weeks amid optimism of the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine that could put an end to the pandemic and fuel a global economic recovery.

Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., PTT Philippines, Seaoil Philippines, PetroGazz, and Cleanfuel also issued advisories about the price increases.

On Nov. 17, the oil firms raised the price of gasoline by P1.05 to P1.10 per liter, diesel by P1.50 to P1.55 per liter, and P1.30 per liter for kerosene.

These resulted in year-to-date adjustments to a net decrease of P4.62 per liter for gasoline, P9.36 per liter for diesel, and P12.59 per liter for kerosene, according to the Department of Energy.

Meanwhile, the price of pork continues to rise, driven by scarcity brought on by the persistent spread of African swine fever (ASF) that has devastated the hog industry in Luzon.

Halfway through November, the price of pork pigue and kasim went as high as P380 per kilogram (kg), P40 more than a kilo of beef which costs P340/kg.

Propork, a group of hog farmers and wholesalers, said Luzon is close to losing 50 percent of its hogs to ASF.

Luzon accounts for 55 percent of the total annual demand for pork at any given time. Farmers culled 12.7 million head due to the disease in 2019 and expect to lose 12.4 million head in 2020.

Propork’s Edwin Chen said the transportation cost of live hogs from Mindanao contributed to the rise in pork prices.

“We bring our hogs from Mindanao to Luzon at a cost. If we pay for the vessel bringing hogs to Luzon, we also pay for the return trip since they will have to go back without any cargo,” he said Monday.

He added that retailers are just abiding by the law of supply and demand. He also called on the Department of Transportation to give the necessary assistance to hog farmers to speedily transport live hogs from Mindanao to Luzon.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) included pork in the list of basic commodities with suggested retail price (SRP). Under the SRO for agricultural products, pork pigue and kasim were priced at P260/kg and pork liempo at P280/kg.

The consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) has raised price concerns to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to investigate possible collusion between hog farmers and traders.

Double whammy: Oil, pork price hikes hit consumers

The group maintained that fresh pork is included in the basic necessities list in section 3 (1) of the Price Act, or RA 7581, as amended.

He urged the DA and the PCC to expedite the investigation to “ease the burden of consumers.”

Topics: oil price , diesel , kerosene , coronavirus disease , vaccine , Petron Corp. , Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.
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