The country’s rice demand for market year (MY) 2021-2022 is expected to increase slightly to 14.6 million metric tons (MMT) due to higher domestic output and bigger demand for the staple, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain) report.
The Gain report noted that the higher production coupled by the increase in population and higher consumption during an election year would drive the increase in the country’s rice demand.
The report, which was prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA-FAS) in Manila, said the country’s milled rice output in the next MY would remain flat at 12.4 MMT.
MY 2021-2022 starts in July and ends in June of next year.
Nonetheless, the Gain report noted that the USDA-FAS in Manila has raised its production forecast for MY 2021-2022 by 100,000 MT from earlier estimate of 12.3 MMT.
“Improved yield is expected to offset lower area in MY21/22, boosted by renewed efforts by the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s [DA] Hybrid Rice Program,” the report, published recently, read.
The Gain report cited DA’s Memorandum Circular 11 that emphasized the use of hybrid rice in key provinces wherein yield has shown at least 1 MT per hectare advantage over inbred rice.
The Gain report noted that the DA’s hybrid rice program targets 15 provinces that have demonstrated high yields with top-performing areas reaching to 12 MT per hectare (MT/HA) compared to the national average of 4 to 5 MT/HA.
“The General Appropriations Act of 2021 allocated P15 billion [$315 million] to the Hybrid Rice Program, more than double last year’s approximately P7 billion [$147 million],” the Gain report said.
“About 1.3 million HA are currently planted with hybrid rice, representing 27 percent of rice area planted and 36 percent higher than 2020’s level,” the report added.
The Gain report maintained its rice import forecast for the Philippines in MY 2021-2022 at 2.1 MMT based on the current trade situation seen in the current MY 2020-2021.
Citing Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) data, the report noted that rice imports from January to May declined by 11.8 percent to 1.03 MMT while SPS-IC applications for rice fell by 37.8 percent year-on-year to 1.94 MMT.
“Industry contacts have also noted the increasing logistical costs to ship to the Philippines as a negative factor for imports,” the report added.