July 24, 2003


Philippines Likely To Import 300,000 Tons Of Corn In Oct To Cover Projected Shortage 


The Philippines might have to import 300,000 metric tons of corn in October to ensure a stable supply after Typhoon Imbudo damaged crops, said Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo Wednesday.


Typhoon Imbudo is the strongest typhoon to have struck the Philippines in five years. It hit the Northern province of Isabela, damaging more than half of the 166,000 hectares planted to corn. The imports will fill a projected shortage of corn, Lorenzo said.


The corn harvest from Isabela is expected to be available on the local market in October.


However, Lorenzo said any imports must be approved by the Philippine congress, since corn is considered "a sensitive crop" by local farmers.


Earlier Tuesday, the agriculture department estimated crop damage by Typhoon Imbudo at 1.1 billion pesos, with corn sustaining the bulk of the losses.