Rice production seen hitting 3.36 MMT in Q3

Despite the projected reduction in palay harvest area and yield, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said paddy-rice output in the July-to-September period would still reach 3.36 million metric tons (MMT).

In its report published on September 20, titled “Updates on July-September 2017 Palay and Corn”, the PSA revised downward its forecast for unmilled rice production to 3.36 MMT, from 3.39 MMT.

“The probable decrement in palay production may be attributed to reduction in harvest area and yield caused by flash floods in South and North Cotabato; lower yield in Sultan Kudarat, Lanao Sur and Maguindanao,”the report read.

“[Also] late plantings due to late release of irrigation water in Bulacan, rice blast infestation in Negros Oriental, and occurrence of tungro in Aurora during vegetative stage of the crop [would cut output],”it added.

The PSA also noted that harvest area may contract by 0.10 percent to 851,757 hectares, from 852,610 hectares. Yield per hectare could also fall to 3.95 MT, from 3.98 MT.

The projected harvest area in the third quarter, however, is bigger than last year’s record of 745,140 hectares.

PSA data also showed that its latest palay production forecast is still higher by 13.3 percent than the 2.969 MMT produced in the same period last year.

The report noted that about 123,930 hectares, or 15 percent, of the updated standing crop for the July-to-September period have been harvested.

The PSA added that around 1.3 million hectares, or 70.7 percent, of the farmers’s planting intentions for the fourth quarter have materialized.

“Of the [2.028 million] hectares standing palay crop, 73 percent were at vegetative stage, 18.2 percent at reproductive stage and 8.8 percent at maturing stage,” the report read.

The expected increase in the country’s paddy-rice output this year prompted the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to revise downward its projection for Philippine rice imports this year to 1.1 MMT, from 1.6 MMT.

In its Global Agriculture Information Network  report, FAS said Philippine rice harvest area in marketing year 2016-2017 could expand to 4.705 million hectares, 2.28 percent bigger than the FAS’s previous forecast of 4.6 million hectares.

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