La Niña watch begins; rice output seen growing
Despite heavy rainfall due to cyclones that plagued southeast Asia this year, conditions for growing rice remained favorable in most parts of the region, according to the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS).
However, the La Niña watch was declared this week, with the weather phenomenon expected to affect the Philippines starting this month until February.
While El Niño brings drought, La Niña is marked by heavier-than-usual rainfall.
But despite the onset of La Niña, global trade still points to a modest expansion next year, with import growth to be concentrated in Asia.
The Philippines, for its part, plans to lift its quantitative restrictions on rice imports, which means that there will be no more limit to the volume of rice it could buy from other countries.
As for this year, despite tropical storms entering most countries in Asia including the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand, global rice production still managed to inch up to 500.8 million tons in October from September’s 500.7 million tons.
Harvest of wet-season rice is ongoing in Asia except Indonesia, where dry-season rice is being harvested.
Based on the AMIS report, recent cyclones did not significantly affect crop conditions.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that production of unmilled rice for the second semester is expected to rise by 6.76 percent from last year’s record of 7.01 million metric tons (MT) for the period.
For the first semester this year, the agriculture sector was able to produce 8.57 million MT of paddy rice.
As for the commodity’s local price, an increase is being mulled by the state agency National Food Authority, which currently buys palay at P17 a kilo.
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