Ompong seen hiking farm-gate price of corn

The farm-gate price of corn may go up further if Typhoon Ompong (international code name Mangkhut) would batter farms in Northern Luzon, according to the Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (PhilMaize).

“Definitely the prices would go up because there would be scarcity in supply. Prices would really go up,” PhilMaize President Roger V. Navarro told the BusinessMirror in an interview.

The current farm-gate price of yellow corn hovers above the P14-per-kilograms level, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Navarro said farm-gate prices corn went up in recent months as farmers delayed their planting. Erratic weather conditions also affected production, he added.

The PhilMaize chief said he does not see the farm-gate price of corn going below P14 per kg in the succeeding months due to the expected increase in demand.

“We now have a different supply chain that needs a lot of corn. This supply chain is driven by the industrial market, which is determined to keep up the prices high,” he said. The industrial market includes corn-starch makers, beer producers and 3-in-1 coffee producers.

Navarro said industrial users are huge volumes of corn at P14 to P16 per kg. “This will now be the norm in our prices.”

The Department of Agriculture  earlier said the corn sector in Northern Luzon could lose as much as P6.2 billion due to Ompong. In its estimates, the DA said that about 483,000 hectares of corn fields are in the pathway of the typhoon.

The DA also projected that farmers in Northern Luzon could lose about 257,111.31 metric tons (MT) of corn due to the typhoon.

Based on the monitoring of the DA, corn planted in about 265,160 hectares, or about 54.84 percent of the total standing crops as of August 31, are already in their reproductive stage.

Region 1 is projected to suffer the brunt of Typhoon Ompong as it accounted for about 54.36 percent of the total standing crops, according to DA estimates.

In a worst-case scenario, Region 1 could lose 75,545.98 MT of corn planted in about 262,853 hectares with an estimated value of P2.982 billion.

Region 2, the country’s top corn producer, is also seen to incur losses of about P2.97 billion, from the possible destruction of about 201,487 hectares with an estimated output of 166,885.5 MT.

“The moderate scenario shows an estimated corn damage amounting to P4.2 [billion],” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said.

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