Lower palay, corn output seen in Q3
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - August 16, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s production of palay (unhusked rice) and corn is seen to continue its downward trend in the third quarter due to delayed plantings and the effects of the recent weather disturbances.

Based on the latest crops outlook of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), palay production for July to September may reach 3.23 million metric tons (MT), two percent lower than the year before.

Harvest area is forecast to shrink 2.8 percent to 829,000 hectares, but yield may slightly improve to 4.01 MT per hectare from the previous year’s 3.98 MT.

The considerable decreases in production are foreseen in Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Soccsksargen, PSA said.

“Cutbacks in output may be attributed to delayed plantings due to the late release of irrigation water and late onset of rainfall in some areas like Western Visayas and Caraga,” it added.

For the fourth quarter, PSA  expects production to bounce back and exceed last year’s level with the expected availability of irrigation water coupled with occurrence of rain during the planting period.

Meanwhile, corn production for the third quarter is seen to decline by 16 percent to 2.18 million MT.  Harvest area may also contract by 11 percent to 784,000 hectares and yield may drop to 2.78 MT per hectare.

“Possible drop in output may be large in Cagayan Valley resulting from the decline in harvest area due to less occurrence of rainfall during the planting period,” PSA said.

For the last quarter of the year, PSA expects corn production to  increase as farmers signify more plantings in anticipation of good weather condition and government intervention on seed subsidy.

In a separate release, the seasonally adjusted palay production for the second quarter fell 1.85 percent following a decline in harvest areas owing to early plantings.

“Some farmers harvested in the later part of the first quarter to avail of good prices offered by traders. Downturns in production were large in Cagayan Valley and Soccsksargen,” PSA said.

The seasonally adjusted farmgate price for palay rose by five percent in the second quarter.

Likewise, wholesale and retail prices for rice increased by two percent each from their respective levels in the previous quarter.

Wholesale and retail prices of rice were also higher by seven percent and five percent, respectively.

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