MANILLA, PHILIPPINES — To offset a projected 18.5% decline in corn production in marketing year 2021-22, the Philippines is expected to nearly double its imports from the previous year, according to a recent Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA forecasts Philippine corn imports to soar to a record 1.2 million tonnes, up from 626,000 tonnes in 2020-21.

Production is projected to decline to 7.5 million tonnes from 8.35 million last year, “with yellow corn accounting for the vast majority of the collapse and coinciding with farm-gate prices accelerating along their already steady upward trajectory to reach the highest levels since at least 2010.”

The USDA attributed the decline in corn output to yields dropping below first-quarter averages and harvested area falling by 12% as farmers reportedly shifted to high-value alternative crops.