MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The COVID-19 pandemic and African swine fever (ASF) continue to hamper the Philippines’ feed demand along with an expected drop in corn production, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The Philippines’ corn production is anticipated to slip 3.6% in the 2021-22 marketing year to 8 million tonnes compared to 8.3 million in the previous year. The USDA attributes the decline to anticipated return to normal weather patterns such as typhoons. Demand for corn feed remains low as poultry production slips due to the spread of COVID-19. Hog production is not expected to rebound in 2021-22 as ASF continues to take its toll on the domestic hog herd. The USDA estimates corn imports to total 500,000 tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year.

Unlike corn, the country’s rice production is expected to hit near record highs. The USDA raised its rice production estimate for the 2021-22 marketing year 100,000 tonnes to 12.4 million based on the adoption of improved varieties through the hybrid rice program. The forecast for Philippine rice imports remains unchanged at 2.1 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year. 

Prolonged COVID-19 quarantine measures have decreased feed wheat and wheat-based product demand, lowering the USDA’s wheat import forecast by 400,000 tonnes to 6.4 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year.