November 10, 2005


Philippine feed millers seek 100,000 tonnes corn imports



Philippine feed millers have asked the government to allow the entry of 100,000 tonnes of corn imports at zero tariff, an industry official said.


"The poor quality of the local corn harvest poses a serious concern for the feed milling sector as it limits our capability to supply the feeds requirements of the livestock industry," Antonio Moraza, president of the Philippine Association of Feed Millers, or PAFMI, said in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban dated Nov 3.


Moraza said the imports should arrive in the country sometime between December and January.


"This tonnage would be enough to tide us over until the next corn harvest early next year," Moraza said.


Ric Pinca, vice president of PAFMI, said Wednesday that domestic prices have risen due to the poor quality of local corn.


Local corn is currently being sold at 11 peso/kg, up from 8 peso/kg in August.


"This is going to be a major problem for the feed milling industry," Pinca told Dow Jones Newswires.


The quality of local corn is poor mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions, he said.


Pinca added that the National Food Authority, a state-owned grains trading firm, could import the commodity on behalf of the industry.