September 24, 2023

Bicol Express News

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PH rice output likely declined in ’22 as cost of production soared says USDA-FAS

Photo by Michael Varcas / Philstar

The surge in the prices of fertilizers and typhoons-cause damages will likely pull down local rice production in 2022 according to international research which also saw an increase in the consumption of this staple food of Filipinos.

Last December, the United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) reported that milled rice production in the Philippines pegged at 11.98 million metric tons in 2022 which is lower than its earlier forecast of 12.41 million MT.

The USDA-FAS report also said that the rice harvest area shrank to 4.7 million hectares from the previous 4.8 million ha due to the effect of Typhoon “Karding,” which ravaged parts of the country last September.

It also noted the decline in fertilizer imports in the months of April to July, when farmers needed it most for growing crops which is due to the price shock that not all rice farmers could adjust.

Despite the local output declined, USDA-FAS said that rice consumption was expected to have increased during the year, owing to the shifting of demand from high-priced bread to rice.

“Rice retail prices in Metro Manila were generally stable. One possible reason for the stable rice retail prices is the balancing of supply and demand,” the report said, noting that lower production was balanced by higher importation.

The USDA raised its rice importation forecast for the year to 3.8 million MT, as local output was not enough to meet the demand.