PRODUCTION of palay, or unmilled rice, is now estimated at 4.80 million metric tons (MT) in the first quarter, an upgrade from the previous estimate of 4.54 million MT, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

In a report on Thursday, the PSA said its new estimate was based on the standing crop as of March 1.

The new estimate remains below the initial forecast of 4.84 million MT issued on Jan. 1.

The PSA said the area planted to rice rose 3.2% to 1.18 million hectares, with yield per hectare thought to have grown 2.4% to 4.08 MT.

The PSA said about 632.40 thousand hectares or 53.8% of the updated standing crop has been harvested.

“Out of the area harvested as of March 1, 2023, actual production was recorded at 2.55 million metric tons,” it said.

Of the area remaining to be harvested, 12.5% of the crop is in the reproductive stage while 87.5% is maturing.
The PSA also updated its initial estimate of corn production for the first quarter to 2.56 million MT, which would represent an improvement over the year-earlier output of 2.44 million MT.

The new estimate, however, is 0.1% lower than the PSA’s initial forecast for the period of 2.564 million MT issued on Jan. 1.

Area planted to corn during the period is estimated to have risen to 2.6% year on year to 671.20 thousand hectares.

The yield per hectare of corn is thought to have increased 2.2% year on year to 3.72 MT, compared to the 3.64 MT actual yield a year earlier.

“About 398.67 thousand hectares or 57.9% of the 688.62 thousand hectares updated area of standing crop have been harvested as of March 1,” the PSA said.

Farmers are also estimated to have harvested 1.43 million MT of corn across 398.67 hectares of farmland.

Of the remaining corn crop, 7.6% is at the reproductive stage while 92.4% is at the maturing stage. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera