CONSUMERS in Negros Occidental may have a tighter budget during this time as prices of meat products have further surged to as high as almost P22 per kilo.

The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), in its February 1, 2021 Prevailing Market Price of Livestock and Poultry Monitoring, reported a P21.27 per kilo increase in the average price of dressed broiler chicken.

From P159.35 per kilo two weeks ago, it went up to P180.62 per kilo this week.

The Fourth District composed of Bago City, Pulupandan, Valladolid, San Enrique, Pontevedra and La Carlota City registered the highest price of dressed broiler chicken in the province, averaging at P189.17 per kilo.

In terms of pork, the PVO reported an increase of P15.69 per kilo compared to its cost during the last two weeks.

From an average price of P204.76 and P213. 40 per kilo on January 18 and 25, respectively, the prevailing market price of pork per kilo is P220.45.

The highest average price was still noted in Fourth District, at P223.33 per kilo.

If per locality alone, the highest price of the commodity was noted in Bacolod City, at P260 per kilo.

Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said the reasons for the upward movement in the prices of meat products particularly chicken and pork, are the current higher cost of all agricultural commodities.

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

He earlier 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, Decena said, adding that aside from high demand and price in Luzon market, the province also shipped out pigs to Iloilo and Leyte market last month.

"I recommend that the national leadership shall harmonize all agriculture programs with stakeholders and economic managers same as solutions of other developing countries," the provincial veterinarian stressed.

For other meat products, the PVO reported an increase of P3.81 per kilo in carabeef (carabao meat); beef - P3.76; and chevon (goat meat) - P8.06.

Prevailing prices of carabeef is P268.21 per kilo, while beef and chevon cost P278.21 and P337.39 per kilo, respectively.

The average prices of eggs, meanwhile, range from P6.66 to P8.81 depending on sizes. The increases range from P0.16 to P0.20 per piece.