PH imports of rice jump in January, wheat and corn drop
Philippine imports of rice ballooned by almost 80 percent in January to $45 million from $25 million as the country stocked up on the staple to make up for lower domestic production.
Imports of other cereal staples such as wheat and corn, however, declined, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
Corn imports plummeted by 76 percent to $13 million in January from $54 million in the same period last year while wheat imports fell by 42 percent to $60 million from $120 million during the period.
Corn is a staple in other parts of the country and is also used as raw material for animal feeds. Wheat, on the other hand, is the raw material for flour to make noodles and bread. Wheat can also be used as raw material for animal feeds.
Imports of food meant for the consumer market increased by 18 percent to $421 million from $357 million despite the decline in imports of dairy products and fish and other fish products.
Apart from rice imports, the PSA also reported an increase in the importation of fruits and vegetables. Imports of fruits and vegetables soared by74 percent in January to $53 million from $31 million. (By: Eileen A. Mencias)