USDA trims Phl rice import projection.
The Philippines is expected to reduce rice imports this year, but government's move to lift quantitative restriction may be a game-changer, the the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.
In its latest report, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), said the Philippines would likely import 1.1 million metric tons (MT) of rice this year, down by eight percent from last year's 1.2 million MT.
The USDA trimmed this year's rice imports from the earlier projection of 1.4 million MT amid expected better local production.
'Philippines is down 300,000 MT to 1.1 million MT on more abundant domestic supplies,' USDA said.
'However, this forecast is subject to change, particularly in light of ongoing government decisions related to quantitative restrictions on imports,' it added.
Production of milled rice this year is seen to slightly increase to 12.35 million MT.
USDA said there may be improvements in area planted as rice areas this year will be at 4.86 million hectares, three percent higher than the 4.72 million hectares last year.
This will be complemented by yield slightly improving at 4.04 MT per hectare from 3.93 MT per hectare.
'In some regions where rice per capita consumption has traditionally been high, particularly in Asia, people are consuming less rice as their diets diversify,' USDA said.
Meanwhile, local corn production may inch up two percent to reach 8.3 million MT from last year's 8.1 million MT.