April 12, 2019


Philippines' wheat imports to hit record 7M tonnes


With the Philippines' wheat imports rising for the past several years as demand for food and feed grains increase with population growth, the country is forecast to import a record 7 million tonnes of wheat for marketing year 2018-19, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture. This is 1.2 million tonnes more than the previous year's imports.


Philippine preferences are incorporating more affordable wheat products, and animal feeding is expected higher as demand for more protein in the diets continues to grow, the report said.


This year specifically, the report added, the trend toward stronger wheat use has intensified due to typhoon-related losses in the domestic corn crop. "With domestic corn prices relatively high, the demand for wheat has surged, both in feed rations and for human consumption".


With the surge in wheat imports due to strong feed-wheat imports, corn imports during the same period is seen to decline by 24,000 tonnes to 700,000 tonnes.


As the domestic hog and chicken industries remain the bright spots of Philippine agriculture, feed wheat plays a large role, the USDA said.


Feed-wheat consumption was raised by 300,000 tonnes in MY 2018-19 due to the decline in local corn output, and feed wheat is now considered by the industry as an integral ingredient in feed rations and no longer a corn substitute.


Meanwhile, global wheat trade is down as lower imports by Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam more than offset higher demand from the Philippines and Indonesia.


Global consumption is also down primarily on lower feed and residual use in the European Union and Iran.