PH corn imports to more than double, says USDA
Philippine corn imports are projected to soon surge by 153.3 percent, as the country turns to the global food market to plug the anticipated shortfall in local output, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.
The USDA said in a recent report that it had raised its corn import estimates for the Philippines to 1.9 million metric tons for market year 2022-2023, which begins in July this year, from 750,000 MT as dwindling production won’t suffice to meet the current demand for animal feeds. Corn is the country’s second main staple after rice and is a main ingredient in the production of animal feed. The USDA said Executive Order (EO) No. 171, signed by President Duterte, will pave the way for the influx of imported corn in the country.
The EO lowered the most favored nation (MFN) tariff rates for corn imports to 5 to 15 percent until December this year. Rates will then range between 35 and 50 percent beginning 2023.
“Since the EO’s issuance, industry contacts confirm at least one quota license holder has already booked MFN corn,” the foreign agency said.
The USDA lowered its corn production projection for the Philippines for the same period to 7.9 million MT from 8.3 million MT. Corn output for the first nine months of market year 2021-2022, which started in July last year, dropped by 1 percent.
“Increasing production costs (e.g., fuel, fertilizer) have led producers to reduce area, in line with reports of reduced seed sales. Reports of reduced fertilizer application further warrant reduced yield expectations,” it said.
“The government’s stop-gap fertilizer voucher program has not sufficiently offset costs, was slow to roll out, and is set to expire at the end of the calendar year,” it added. INQ
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