USDA sees PH feed corn imports to hit 500K MT
Corn imports used for animal feeds manufacturing are expected to stabilize this year as the low demand for hog feeds is seen to be offset by the growing demand for chicken feeds, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported.
Imports are projected to reach 500,000 metric tons this year, down from 666,000 MT last year, the decline was blamed largely to the spread of the African swine fever (ASF) that discouraged several livestock players from continuing production which, in turn, resulted in lower demand for the grain.
“Hog feed demand will remain flat throughout 2022 due to the continued damaging effects of ASF on the local hog herd. There have been additional outbreaks in areas around Luzon which were previously the country’s top-producing provinces,” USDA said.
Moreover, local corn production is expected to increase by 150,000 MT to 8.15 million MT. Between July and September, crop conditions were seen to be favorable as corn was not as hardly hit by recent typhoons compared to rice.
Livestock raisers who switched to raising poultry to evade ASF resulted in a 2-percent increase in poultry feed demand. The USDA said there had been a surge in egg production as some former piggery owners who shifted to layer production when their farms were affected by the viral hog disease.
The report, however, did not factor in the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) recommendation to slash the tariffs imposed on corn to bring down the cost of raising poultry and livestock.
Currently, yellow corn imports under the minimum access volume (MAV) are imposed a 35-percent tariff while those outside the MAV quota are levied with a tariff of 50 percent.
A technical working group is currently studying the level of reduction that may be implemented.
Importers and millers who support the DA said local corn was currently priced higher compared to imports, but local producers said allowing the importation of corn would again depress prices and discourage the growth of the domestic industry.
—Karl R. Ocampo
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