Philippine rice imports drop in February
Philippine imports of rice declined in while corn imports swelled in February compared to June, data from the Philippine Statistics Office show.
Philippine rice imports dropped to $22.5 million in February from $25.3 million in January but corn imports increased to $13.9 million from $12.9 million in January.
Corn is a staple in some parts of the country but it is also used as a raw material for animal feeds. Wheat for human consumption is a raw material for flour but is also used as raw material for feeds.
According to the PSA, wheat imports in February increased to $69.3 million from $59.9 in January, the Philippine Statistics Office show.
Imports of rice need to come in before the start of the third quarter to ensure the rice stocks get to their destinations before the typhoons come.
It is also considered a lean time for harvests so the arrival of imported rice should not bring down the price of palay to protect farmers.
Imports of dairy products such as milk and cheese amounted to $63.1 million in February, up from $56.6 million in January.
The Food and Agriculture Organization lowered its estimates on rice production this year but said trade in the commodity will also be slightly lower as the Philippines and Sri Lanka downscaled imports.
The FAO said rice production in the Philippines this dry season is generally favorable except in the southern part of the country because of insufficient rainfall. (By: Eileen A. Mencias)