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Gov’t cuts 2nd quarter grain output forecasts

Posted on June 21, 2017

PRODUCTION of grain staples will still grow this quarter from a year ago, but by a smaller increment than earlier projected, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported yesterday.

Farmers harvest rice in this January 28, 2006 file photograph taken in Rangaban village in Midsayap municipality, Cotabato province, Central Mindanao. -- AFP
“As of May 1, 2017, the updated second-quarter 2017 production forecasts on palay and corn, based on standing crop, may be lower than the April 2017 round forecasts,” PSA said in the report that was uploaded on its Web site.

“The expected decline in palay production [increment] may be due to the reduction of yield brought about by the effect of continuous rainfall during the vegetative and reproductive stages of the crops,” it explained.

“In some provinces, this was also affected by insufficient water supply and incidence of pests,” it added.

“For corn... the decline in output could be attributed to the effect of flash flood, rat infestation and use of low-quality seeds.”

Palay production likely came in at 4.1 million metric tons (MT) in the second quarter, about 0.6% less than the forecast of 4.13 million MT the PSA gave in April.

The latest second-quarter palay output estimate, however, will still be 10.5% more than the 3.71 million MT actually produced in 2016’s comparable three months, the state statistics body said.

“Harvest area may increase by 0.02% from 0.95 million hectares...,” PSA said, adding, however, that “yield per hectare may decrease from 4.35 MT to 4.32 MT.”

Palay production grew 12.38% year on year to 4.419 million MT in the first quarter but had dropped 2.88% annually to 17.627 million MT for the entire 2016, against a 17.91 million MT downgraded full-year projection.

The Department of Agriculture targets rice production to grow by about 7.79% to 19 million MT this year.

Meanwhile, corn production is now expected to have hit 1.315 million MT in the second quarter, just 0.1% less than the April projection of 1.317 million MT, but it will still be 44.4% more than the 910,000 MT actually produced in 2016’s comparative three months.

Corn harvest area may contract to 399,000 hectares from 410,800 hectares, PSA said, even as yield may improve to 3.29 MT per hectare from 3.21 MT per hectare.

Corn output grew 23.44% annually to 2.366 million MT in the first quarter, but had slipped by 3.99% year on year to 7.219 million MT for the entire 2016. -- JCL