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Lower palay, corn Q2 output seen

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rice grains
The Philippine Statistics Authority said its output estimate for palay, or unmilled rice, in the three months to June, if realized would represent a 2.43% decline from the year-earlier output of 4.150 MMT. -- PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ-JOHN ROSALES

THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said its output estimate for palay, or unmilled rice, in the three months to June is 4.049 million metric tons (MMT), which if realized would represent a 2.43% decline from the year-earlier output of 4.150 MMT.

In its “Rice and Corn Situation and Outlook” report released on May 15, the PSA said that the projected decline is due to early indications of reduced output in the Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula and SOCCSKSARGEN – the central Mindanao region formed by South Cotabato, Cotabato City, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City.

It said these regions’ production could decline due to a reduction in harvest area for the period, the increased pace of farmland conversion for commercial and industrial use, and the inadequate supply of water.

Crop Production

In the six months to June, its palay output estimate is 8.672 MMT. If the estimate pans out, it would represent a 1.2% increase from the year-earlier output of 8.659 MMT.

For the six-month estimate, the PSA cited an increase in harvest area to 2.12 million hectares from 2.10 million a year earlier, although it assumes a decline in yield per hectare to 4.08 metric tons (MT) from 4.09 MT a year earlier.

Forward estimates for the three months to September, which are based on an assessment of farmers’ planting intentions, point to a year-on-year rise due to expectations of early-onset rainfall and increased planting area as more land benefits from irrigation. It said farmers are also bullish because they are expecting an increase in subsidies for seed.

The PSA said corn output in the three months to June is estimated at 1.28 MMT. If realized, the estimate would represent a 3.7% drop from the year-earlier 1.33 MMT, due to declining planting area and yields.

The PSA cited an estimated decline in harvest area for the three months to June to 391,260 hectares from 401,510 a year earlier, and an expected decline in yield to 3.27 MT per hectare from 3.31 MT a year earlier.

It said corn planting in the three months to June may have suffered from farmers deciding to plant more in the previous quarter due to the availability of seed in the preceding period.

Meanwhile, some corn farmers may have shifted to other crops, or in the case of Cagayan Valley may have left land to lie fallow.

In the six months to June, the PSA’s corn production estimate was 3.756 MMT. If realized corn output will have risen 1.63% from 3.696 MMT a year earlier, due to increased planting area and yields for the period.

The PSA said based on planting intentions for corn, output for the three months to September may decline due to hot weather, with farmers also signaling plans to cultivate palay and other crops.