• Jan-Sept farm growth weak

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    Volume up 0.33%, value up 9.6%

    Agriculture output rose 0.33-percent by volume in the first nine months of 2014 from a year earlier, with major crops palay and corn showing little recovery from the damage inflicted by Super Typhoon Yolanda late last year, government data showed on Friday.

    In terms of value, farm sector output grossed P1.1 trillion at current prices, or 9.55 percent more than last year’s gross receipts, as shown by figures from the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (PSA-BAS).

    Crops growth weak

    The crops subsector, which accounted for 51.03 percent of the total agricultural output, grew by 1.20 percent as lower production gains were noted for palay and corn. Improved growth, however, was registered by sugarcane, mango, tobacco and onion.

    At current prices, the subsector’s gross value of output amounted to P633.7 billion, or 14.95 percent higher than last year’s record due to notable gains in farmgate prices of most commodities during the period.

    “In particular, the increase in the price of palay led to the 22.62 percent expansion in its gross value of output. For the same reason, corn recovered from its negative growth in 2013 with a 7.27 percent increment in gross receipts this year,” BAS said

    For the first nine months of 2014, palay production reached 11.41 million metric tons, which was 0.41 percent higher than last year’s record. In the third quarter, however, palay output dropped 9.98 percent to 3.028 million, from 3.362 million a year ago.

    “While there were good harvest records of palay in the first half of the year, the third quarter production was adversely affected by Typhoons Glenda and Luis. Likewise, the onset of “habagat” caused damages on standing crop in Central Luzon that resulted in lower yield,” BAS said.

    Modest 2014 forecast

    Palay production for calendar year 2014 is forecast at 18.88 million MT, 2.4 percent higher than the 2013 output of 18.44 million MT.

    Based on standing crop, the October-December 2014 output indicates potential growth of 5.5 percent from last year’s 7.08 million MT to this year’s 7.47 million MT; while based on farmers’ planting intentions for January-March 2015, production may decline by 0.6 percent to 4.31 million MT.

    In July-September 2014, corn production dropped by 5.84 percent to 2.448 million MT, from 2.600 million MT in 2013.

    The October-December 2014 standing corn crop is forecast to produce 1.82 million MT, or 25.6 percent higher than the 1.45 million MT output during the same period last year; while the January-March 2015 production, based on farmers’ planting intentions, is expected to increase by 0.3 percent from 2.278 million MT in 2014 to 2.285 million MT in 2015.

    Corn production for calendar year 2014 is forecast at 7.75 million MT, 5.1 percent above the 2013 output level of 7.38 million MT.

    Lackluster livestock

    Meanwhile, the livestock subsector, which accounts for a 16.11 percent share of total agricultural production, expanded by 1.05 percent in the first nine months of 2014. Hog production was the subsector’s source of growth. Gross earnings amounted to P176.9 billion at current prices, or 6.06 percent increase from last year’s gross receipts.

    Production of the poultry subsector, accounting for 14.85 percent of the total agricultural output, slipped by 0.74 percent in January-September 2014. Production increases were noted for chicken and duck while there was contraction in egg production. The subsector grossed P138.0 billion at current prices or 7.60 percent more this year.

    The fisheries subsector, which contributed 18.01 percent to total agricultural output, also went down by 1.80 percent as all species recorded reduced production. At current prices, the subsector’s gross value of output amounted to P176.9 billion, or a 2.30 percent drop from last year’s gross receipts.

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