MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Rice production in the Philippines in 2022-23 will stay flat with last year’s record at 12.4 million tonnes, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Rice imports of 2.8 million tonnes will be 200,000 tonnes lower than 2021-22.

Wheat imports are forecast to decline 3% to 6.3 million tonnes because of rising prices and supply issues as a result of the conflict in the Black Sea.

Consumption for 2022-23 is down 350,000 tonnes, to 6.25 million tonnes, due to high wheat prices. Feed demand is estimated at 2.4 million tonnes, down 300,000 tonnes.

“Factors include the ongoing Black Sea conflict and efforts by local feed millers to replace wheat with barley because of rising feed wheat prices,” the USDA said. “Uncertainty also remains in hog feed demand due to ongoing African swine fever spread.”

Corn is expected to supplement some feed wheat demand, while milling wheat consumption is seen slightly declining for more affordable rice.

The USDA expects 2022-23 corn imports will rise 50,000 tonnes to 750,000 tonnes, as feed wheat prices are elevated by the Ukraine conflict. Corn production in 2022-23 is forecast at 8.3 million tonnes, rebounding after the previous year’s subpar growing conditions in three out of the five top corn regions.