PHL palay output projected at 19.68 million MT by USDA

PHILIPPINE production of palay, or unmilled rice, is expected to rise 1.6% in marketing year 2021-2022 to 19.68 million metric tons (MT), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.

In its Grain and Feed Annual report, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service estimated an increase in the rice harvest area of 1.1% to 4.75 million hectares.

The USDA projected yield per hectare at 4.14 MT, against 4.12 MT a year earlier. Milled rice production for the period is also expected to increase 1.6% to 12.4 million MT.

“The interventions established by Republic Act No. 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law and the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), including the greater than expected tariff revenue from rice imports, will begin to take effect,” the USDA said.

Signed in 2019, the law liberalized rice imports by private entities. To mitigate the effects on farmers, the law called for P10 billion to be allocated yearly to the RCEF to fund farm mechanization, seed distribution, crop insurance, and instruction in planting methods.

The USDA said rice imports are expected to be stable at 2.2 million MT due to higher domestic production as a result of RCEF and other support programs.

The USDA projected a decline in corn production in marketing year 2021-2022 of 2.4% to 8 million MT.

It cited low farmgate prices and reduced demand for feed for both hogs and broiler chickens. It also projected demand for corn to drop 2.8% to 8.60 million MT.

“Feed consumption (yellow corn) is expected to decline by 250,000 MT to 6.5 million MT, while food consumption (white corn) will stay flat at 2.1 million MT,” the USDA said.

Corn imports during marketing year 2021-2022 are also projected to drop 33.3% to 500,000 MT.

The USDA said wheat imports are also projected to decline 2.9% to 6.6 million MT, due to weak hog feed demand as a result of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

“The disease continues to spread to new regions of the country, including now in the Visayan island of Leyte,” the USDA said.

Import demand for milling wheat for human consumption is expected to be flat “due to continued coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) economic restrictions,” it added.

Thee USDA said wheat consumption is expected to drop 2% to 6.5 million MT for the milling year.

The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has a production target of 20.47 million MT forpalay for the calendar year, as well as 2.5% growth in farm sector output. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave