December 29, 2021


Philippines to bring in more corn in 2021-22 market year


The Philippines will import more corn in the market year (MY) of 2021-2022 amid lower production and harvest area for the main staple.


The latest forecast of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Manila (Post) slashed it corn production outlook for the Philippines from 7.8 million tonnes to 7.5 million tonnes for MY 2021-2022.


At the same time, Post now sees the Philippines importing more corn from the earlier forecast of 500,000 tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes to satisfy the current demand.


"Total corn production decreased 18.6% in the first quarter year-over-year [at 2.3 million tonnes versus 2.8 million tonnes], with yellow corn accounting for the vast majority of the collapse and coinciding with farm-gate prices accelerating along their already steady upward trajectory to reach the highest recorded levels since at least 2010," Post said.


"While yields declined to 2.83 tonnes/ha [per hectare], below both last year's first quarter [3.07 tonnes/HA] and the historical first-quarter average [2.92 MT/HA], the harvested area was down 12% and coincided with reports of farmers shifting to high-value alternatives," it added.


The Post also noted that a number of its contacts from Manila "painted a similarly bleak outlook for the second quarter, though record high prices should signal to farmers an opportunity to expand area during the dry season."


Corn comprises 60% of the ingredients for the production of animal feeds, while the cost of feeds takes up 80% of the cost of meat and chicken production.


Like rice farmers, corn farmers suffered this year from the increase in the cost of their production amid extremely high fuel prices and other farm inputs.


Meanwhile, Post now sees the Philippines importing less wheat, now at 6.3 million tonnes from 6.5 million tonnes, as both demands for hog feed remain soft. In addition, higher-priced consumer wheat products begin to hit the shelves.


- Manila Bulletin