The Philippines is seen producing less of its two main staples, rice and corn, this year, resulting in more importation, data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed.
In its latest report, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) adjusted downward for the second time the Philippines’ rice imports and production.
From the first forecast of 2 million metric tons (MT), FAS said the Philippines may actually import 2.1 million MT.
“With a small crop, the country is forecast to import more to satisfy rising demand,” FAS said.
As for milled rice production, FAS forecasts the Philippines to produce only 12.3 million MT during the marketing year for 2021/2022, which is lower compared to its earlier forecast of 12.4 million MT.
For corn, the Philippines is also expected to produce less for the current marketing year amid lower demand primarily due to the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).
Based on the same report, USDA now sees the country only producing 8 million MT of corn from its earlier forecast of 8.3 million MT.
FAS’ updated forecast came a few days after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the Philippines’ crop production, which shared 58.8 percent of the total agricultural production, went up by 3.3 percent from January to March of this year.
This was after increases in palay (8.6 percent) and corn production (6.5 percent) were noted.
At current prices, the value of crop production amounted to P267.0 billion, up by 7.2 percent, during the first quarter of this year.
Overall, the Philippines’ agricultural output fell by 3.3 percent in the first three months of 2021, a bigger decline compared to a 1.7-percent drop recorded during the same period last year.