PHILIPPINE milled rice production is expected to hit 13.3 million metric tons (MMT) next year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

In a report, the FAO said “record crops” are expected for the Philippines in 2025 due to improved climate conditions and government support.

“Within the region, Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines are all seen gathering record crops,” it said.

The Philippines produced about 20.06 million MT of unmilled rice in 2023, equivalent to about 13 million MT in milled rice.

The effects of El Niño lead to a decline in palay production during the first quarter.

Palay output fell to 4.69 MMT for the first quarter, from 4.78 MMT a year earlier, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Agricultural damage due to El Niño was estimated at P9.89 billion, with rice and corn as the most affected crops, the Department of Agriculture reported.

The government weather service, known as PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), announced the end of El Niño, and estimated the chances of La Niña setting in at 69% between July and September.

The FAO said global milled rice production is expected to increase 0.9% to 534.9 MMT.

“A combination of area expansions and yield improvements are expected to sustain this growth, as attractive paddy prices at the onset of the season could keep plantings at the record extension attained in 2023/24,” the FAO said.

It added that improved growing conditions following the dissipation of El Niño may revive yield growth.

“Asia is expected to account for much of the production expansion envisaged for 2024-25,” it added. — Adrian H. Halili