AVERAGE prices of almost all meat products in Negros Occidental have increased to as high as almost P17 per kilogram, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) reported.

Based on January 25, 2021 Prevailing Market Price Monitoring of Livestock and Poultry of the PVO, the biggest increase was noted in the average price of chicken, at P16.32 per kilo.

From P159.35 per kilo on January 18, the cost went up to P175.67 per kilo.

For pork, there was an increase of P8.64 per kilo. From P204.76 per kilo last week, the prevailing price is now P213.40 per kilo.

Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said the increase in the price of pork is relative to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in Luzon.

Decena said the demand for pigs in Luzon has started to increase since October last year.

The province's shipment to Luzon including Bulacan, Tarlac and Pangasinan from January 1 to 22, 2021 alone is almost 6,000 heads.

"The liveweight prices of pigs [in Luzon] soared up to P280 per kilo, the local pig prices also followed," he said, adding that "aside from high demand and price in Luzon market, we also shipped out pigs to Iloilo and Leyte market this month."

For chicken, the provincial veterinarian said the situation is similar to that of pork.

"The Department of Agriculture wants to have a price freeze for both pork and chicken because of the devastating effect of ASF in Luzon," Decena said.

Consumers prefer fresh meat from the wet market, he added.

There was also a significant increase in the price of chevon (goat meat) in the province.

The PVO reported that from P329.33, it went up to P337.39 per kilo or an increase of P8.06 per kilo.

Consumers of beef may also spend more as the price of the commodity also increased by P2.34 per kilo.

From P274.45, the price per kilo of beef rose to PP276.79.

For carabeef (carabao meat), the previous price of P264.40 per kilo went up to P266.45 per kilo, or an increase of P2.05.

For eggs, the prices vary depending on sizes whether small, medium, large and extra-large. An increase of P0.14, P0.18, P0.17 and P0.16, respectively, was noted.

Decena said the supply of other livestock and poultry products was low while the demand last January and December increased due to several occasions and festivities.

He said some raisers slowed down last year due to low price, they went back to animal raising during the later part of the same year.

The PVO official expects that the prices of meat products will normalize next month.