MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippines is expected to import more rice in 2021-22 due to improving economic conditions and an upturn in sanitary clearances, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Imports are now estimated at 2.2 million tonnes, up from the 2 million tonnes imported a year ago. Milled production at 12.3 million tonnes is expected to remain at levels seen a year earlier.

Corn production estimates for 2021-22 increased 150,000 tonnes to 8.15 million due to good crop conditions in the first quarter, the USDA said. Production for 2020-21 was adjusted to 8.352 million tonnes, marking a record year for Philippine corn production.

Corn feed and residual consumption for 2021-22 increased 150,000 tonnes to 6.65 million tonnes, lifted by an expected 2% increase in poultry feed demand.

Wheat imports during 2021-22 are lowered by 300,000 tonnes to 6.2 million tonnes, following final 2020-21 imports that reached 6.1 million tonnes.

Feed wheat consumption was lowered in 2021-22 by 100,000 tonnes, resulting from the continued challenge of African swine fever dampening hog feed demand.