Feed millers worried about rising corn prices
The Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. (Pafmi) has called on the government to boost, through existing programs, the production of corn—a primary raw material for feeds manufacturing—noting the need for its members to resort to importation given the short supply and high prices of local corn.
Pafmi, the oldest and biggest association of feed producers in the country, said it recently bought 81,400 metric tons (MT) of feed wheat from Australia. Pafmi president Nicole Sarmiento-Garcia said the move was prompted by the high price of local corn.
“Feed millers and local hog and poultry raisers find the traders’ price too high considering that the previous farm gate price of yellow corn was only P12.77 per kilo. It has now gone up to P17.50 a kilo in Bulacan,” she said.
Moreover, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the country produced 8 million MT of corn in 2019. In contrast, the local feed, hog and poultry industry needs some 10 million MT of corn yearly or a shortfall of 2 million MT.
Pafmi said this situation forced stakeholders to import corn and feed wheat to meet their requirements.
The group noted, however, that local corn remained their preferred raw material due to its higher carbohydrate content, which provided the energy-giving component of the feed formula.
Sarmiento, who is also the executive vice president of Vitarich Corp., said the high price of corn would make feed millers as well as hog and poultry raisers uncompetitive, stressing that corn accounted for 60 percent of the ingredients for animal feeds manufacturing.
The cost of feeds accounts for 80 percent of meat and chicken production cost.
While the Department of Agriculture has existing programs with Pafmi, including contract corn growing and helping the latter directly contact farmers, the group believes there is more to be done if the agency wants stakeholders to stick to using local corn.
Pafmi’s 33 member-companies produce about 70 percent of the country’s animal feed products. Its members include San Miguel Corp., Universal Robina Corp., Pilmico Foods Inc., Vitarich and Philippine Foremost Milling Co.
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