Utilization of cold storage facilities in the National Capital Region Plus area has jumped to 75% with arrival of initial shipments of meat imports under the government’s expanded minimum access volume (MAV) scheme
The increase was bolstered by an order that restricted to the National Capital Region Plus area (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna) the storage, sale and consumption of pork additionally imported under MAV+
Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) president Anthony Dizon said association members can adequately handle the greater volume of pork imports
Cold storage capacity in Luzon is expected to rise with an additional 30,000 pallet spaces for Q3 commissioning
Utilization of cold storage facilities in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area has increased to 75% with the arrival of initial shipments of meat imports under the government’s expanded minimum access volume (MAV) scheme, according to the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP).
The situation is a welcome change for cold chain operators which previously saw low utilization of their facilities due to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak and delays in arrival of meat imports arising from issues with container availability.
Executive Order No. 133 signed in May increased the allocation of pork imports within the MAV quota by 200,000 metric tons to a total of 254,210 MT from only 54,210 MT to plug the supply gap due to the ASF outbreak. MAV refers to the volume of quantity of a specific agricultural commodity that may be imported with a lower tariff. MAV+ guidelines were released in late June.
A National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) order, which implemented the MAV+ scheme under EO 133, created conditions for the jump in cold storage utilization in NCR Plus, CCAP president Anthony Dizon told PortCalls in an email.
NMIS Memorandum Order No. 07-2021-286 restricted the sale of imported pork in wet markets, KADIWA centers and supermarkets to NCR Plus, which comprises Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna.
Shipments covered by a MAV+ import clearance were also ordered to enter only through the Manila International Container Terminal, Manila South Harbor, Batangas port and Subic port. In addition, the shipments could only be stored in NMIS-accredited cold storage warehouses in NCR Plus areas.
Dizon said CCAP members can adequately handle additional volumes if they arrive in tranches of 35,000 metric tons per month as they are expected to. Moreover, Luzon capacity is seen to rise with an additional 30,000 pallet spaces due for commissioning in the third quarter of the year.
Under the MAV Management Committee Resolution No. 1 series of 2021, signed in June, additional pork imports will arrive in two tranches: more than 140,000 MT or 70% within July to October 2021 (or 35,000 MT per month); and the rest—over 60,000 MT or 30%–from November 2021 to January 2022 (or 20,000 MT per month).
According to the Bureau of Customs, importers brought in 24.45 million kilograms of pork in April, another 36.5 million kg in May, and 15.14 million kg from June 1 to June 11.
The April 2021 shipments were 500% more than the April imports last year of 4.07 million kg, while those for May 2021 were 506% higher than imports in the same month in 2020 of 6.02 million kg.
Last August 9, the BOC reiterated the need to strictly implement Joint Administrative Order 20-01, which pushed for the swift release of refrigerated containers and dry cargoes from ports during the enhanced community quarantine. The reiteration was issued following a Department of Trade and Industry report of “impending reefer congestion brought about by the projected volume of imports.” – Roumina Pablo