MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippines recently announced plans to reduce its tariff on corn imports from 35% to 5%, a move that the US Grains Council (USGC) said would lead to new opportunities for US corn producers.

With Ukraine, one of the world’s leading corn suppliers, unable to ship grain out of its ports because of Russia’s naval blockade, global supplies have dwindled in recent months while the price of corn has risen significantly.

The Council said the tariff reduction was a responsible step by the Philippine government as it encounters domestic inflationary pressures.

“The US and Philippines agricultural industries have enjoyed a strong relationship for a very long time,” said Ryan LeGrand, president and chief executive officer of the USGC. “The Council is standing by, ready to help the Philippine government and industry fill in any raw material supply shortage the country is facing. US farmers have an abundant, sustainable corn crop ready to deploy when needed.”

The Philippines feed industry relies heavily on feed wheat imports due to its history of high import tariffs on corn outside ASEAN. The recent global wheat supply chain disruptions have had a disproportionally negative impact on Philippine input prices.

“If these tariff reductions stick long term, the Philippine livestock industry will have a chance to become competitive again with theirASEAN neighbors,” said Caleb Wurth, USGC regional director for Southeast Asia and Oceania. “When a steady supply of corn is available, the overall demand for corn grows, given corn is still the energy source of choice by many nutritionists.”