MANILA, PHILIPPINES — A drop in feed demand due to a continuing African swine fever (ASF) outbreak will lower overall demand for wheat in the Philippines in 2020-21, according to a June 17 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Feed consumption is expected to contract 13%. The ASF outbreak started in August 2019, and while the spread has slowed, there continues to be new cases. Overall wheat imports are expected to drop to 7 million tonnes from 7.2 million tonnes, according to the report.

Corn imports, however, will increase from 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes due to firm feed demand from a steadily expanding broiler industry and increasing industrial food applications.

Corn production during the first three months of 2020 may reach 2.4 million tonnes, 1.1% lower than the initial estimate of 2.43 million tonnes made on Jan. 1.

Paddy production for the January – March 2020 period may decrease to 4.25 million tonnes from the previous year’s output of 4.42 million tonnes.

Harvested area is expected to decrease by 4.8%, from 1.153 million hectares in the first quarter of 2019 to 1.098 million hectares during the same period this year. Yield per hectare may rise slightly to 3.87 tonnes, from 3.83 tonnes in the previous year, according to the report.