December 3, 2007


Philippine feed millers demand for more yellow corn imports



Feed millers in the Philippines have urged the government to import more yellow corn for fear of a shortfall in local production.


Members of the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. said they were willing to "bite the bullet" just to bring in imported yellow corn despite high prices in the world market.


An official of the association warns they will not survive next year if there are no corm imports.


The official, who declined to be named, said the previous authorization issued by the Inter-Agency Committee on Rice and Corn for tender of 270,000 tonnes of corn expired last month.


A trader said the price of corn had risen by at least 40 percent since the last tender in April of the current year. From US$204 per tonne, the price of imported corn had gone to US$340/tonne.


The official said unless domestic production peaks up, imports are the only solution in sight.


The government expects the shortfall to reach about 500,000 tonnes this year, lesser from private sector's estimates of 1.6 million tonnes.


The association earlier said in a statement that it might refrain from importing corn due to constantly increasing prices. Early last month, corn prices were monitored hovering at US$310 per tonne from US$304 per tonne in October.


Corn production rose 13.96 percent to 2.54 million tonnes in the third quarter from 2.23 million tonnes a year ago.