November 7, 2008


Philippines reject the calls to increase price support for corn


The Philippines has rejected calls by local corn growers to hike the government's price support for yellow corn to PHP13 (US$0.26) a kilogramme from PHP11.50 (US$0.23) / kilogramme.


It stays at PHP11.50 (US$0.23). According to BAS (Bureau of Agriculture Statistics), farmers will have a profit of 30 to 40 percent at this level. Also, prices of fertilizer are bound to fall, said Yap.


Last month, the agriculture department increased its buying support price for yellow corn to PHP11.50 (US$0.23) / kilogramme from a previous level of PHP10 (US$0.20) / kilogramme in an effort to boost farmers' income in view of high input costs.


The department said it was considering a further hike, to PHP13 (US$0.26) / kilogramme, to put yellow corn on par with the government's support price for white corn.


Local farmers have said that a support price of PHP11.50 (US$0.23) / kilogramme is not sufficient to cushion the impact of high fertilizer prices, which have remained at high levels despite a sharp reduction in global crude oil prices.


Corn output this year is projected to rise 11 percent on year to reach 7 million tonnes, but 2.9% percent lower than the department's production target of 7.2 million tonnes as reduced use of fertilizers due to their high cost was expected to result in lower yields.


The Philippines cultivates both white corn, which is used for human consumption, and yellow corn, which is a major component in animal feeds.