MANILA, PHILIPPINES — African swine fever (ASF) in the pork sector and lowered output in the poultry sector is reducing grain demand in the Philippines, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA estimates the Philippines overall wheat imports for market year 2020-21 to fall over 6% due to lower demand of feed wheat from the hog sector. The continued spread of ASF in major pork-producing areas dampened demand for feed wheat. Wheat imports are expected to total 6.85 million tonnes.

Corn imports also slipped to 375,000 tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year from the previous USDA forecast of 600,000 tonnes. Reduced feed demand reflects the decrease in production in the poultry sector. Meanwhile, total corn production in the first half of 2020 reached 3.65 million tonnes, up 1.4% from the previous year. The USDA said, “better-than-usual weather conditions may have contributed to corn’s higher output, including a relatively quiet typhoon season.”

Similar to corn, the USDA forecasts the Philippines rice production to increase to 8.38 million tonnes. Production grew 1.4% from January 2020 to June 2020 compared to the same period a year ago. The USDA lowered its estimate for market year 2020-21 imports by 13.3% to 2.6 million tonnes, as increased domestic production is expected to meet a larger share the Philippines rice consumption.