Q2 rice output seen higher, corn lower

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The Philippine Statistics Authority has adjusted upward its palay (paddy rice) output projection for the second quarter due to improved yield in irrigated areas, but lowered further its corn production forecast as a result of the prolonged dry spell.

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In the June 2015 Round Forecast, the PSA-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) said that the updated production on standing palay crop for April-June 2015 may increase compared with the April 2015 Round forecasts.

Palay production for April-June 2015 may reach 3.905 million MT, 0.10 percent more than the April 2015 round forecast of 3.902 million MT but 4.1 percent lower than last year’s output of 4.07 million MT.

It said the harvest area may contract from 0.92 million hectares to 0.91 million hectares. However, yield may improve from 4.25 MT per hectare to 4.27 MT per hectare.

“The increase could be traced to improvement in yield in irrigated areas as a result of availability of water supply during the growing stage, more usage of hybrid seeds, lesser infestation of pests and more application of fertilizer,” PSA-BAS said.

Probable increases in production are expected in Camarines Sur, Kalinga, Ifugao and Davao del Norte due improvement in yield, as well as in Nueva Ecija and Tarlac thanks to increased usage of hybrid seeds.

Lesser incidence of stemborer and rats in Davao Oriental and increased application of fertilizer in Zambales may bring about higher production, it said.

The PSA said around 815,000 hectares of the updated standing crop have been harvested, while about 291,000 hectares, or 33.3 percent of the planting intentions for the July- September 2015 crop, have been realized.

Of the 390,000 hectares standing palay crop, 50.9 percent were at vegetative stage, 26.2 percent at reproductive stage and 22.9 percent at maturing stage, it said.

Dry spell cuts corn output
Probable corn output may decrease further compared with the earlier forecasts due to contraction of the harvest area and a drop in yield from the adverse effects of a dry spell, insufficient water supply, and incidence of pests in some provinces, the PSA-BAS said.

Corn production for the second quarter of 2015 may reach 999,000 MT, 2.9 percent below the earlier forecast of 1.03 million MT and 16.8 percent lower than last year’s level of 1.20 million MT.

Harvest area may decline by 1.8 percent, from 336,000 hectares to 330,000 hectares. Yield may drop to 3.03 MT per hectare from 3.06 MT per hectare.

The PSA-BAS said the adverse effects of a prolonged dry spell in Bukidnon, Albay, South Cotabato, Camarines Sur, Quezon, Sarangani, Misamis Oriental, Capiz, Misamis Occidental, Sultan Kudarat and Leyte, and the infestation of rodents and birds in Sarangani and Leyte may contribute to the decrease in corn output.

About 252,000 hectares of the updated standing crop have been harvested. Around 408,000 hectares or 44 percent of the planting intentions for the July-September 2015 harvests have been materialized.

Of the updated 463,000 hectares of standing corn crop, about 59.4 percent were at vegetative stage, 26.3 percent at reproductive stage and 14.3 percent at maturing stage.

Enough rice stocks
Meanwhile, the PSA-BAS said that as of June 1, the country had enough rice stocks for the next 89 days, but government depositories were still below the required buffer stocks for the lean season.

In its latest inventory report, the PSA-BAS said that the country’s total rice stock inventory was pegged at 3.02 million metric tons, up by 30.9 percent from 2.31 million MT last year but 4.7 percent below last month’s inventory of 3.17 million metric tons.

“The total rice inventory for this month would be sufficient for 89 days. Stocks in the households would be enough for 34 days. Those in commercial warehouses and in NFA depositories would be adequate for 33 days and 22 days, respectively,” the agency said.

Around 38.5 percent of this month’s total rice stock inventory was with the households, 36.7 percent in commercial warehouses and 24.8 percent in NFA depositories, which is composed of almost 100 percent imported rice.

For corn, the total corn stock inventory was 207, 200 MT or 9.9 percent higher than last year’s record of 188,500 MT and 7.2 percent lower than last month’s level of 223,333 MT.

Around 52.9 percent of this month’s total corn stock inventory was with the commercial warehouses, 46.2 percent were with the households and 0.9 percent were with the NFA depositories.

Corn is the country’s second most important crop next to rice, and serves as main staple of 14 million Filipinos.

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