Report says lower tariffs to stimulate corn imports

An international agency said the country’s corn imports in the 2022-2023 marketing year could nearly triple to 1.7 million metric tons (MMT) as lower tariffs will stimulate corn purchases.

The US Department of Agriculture – Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA-FAS) in Manila projected that Philippine corn imports would be 1.1 million metric tons higher than the 600,000 metric tons (MT) recorded in the previous market year as a result of Executive Order (EO) 171.

Under Executive Order 171, tariffs on imported corn were reduced as part of the government’s efforts to ensure stable food supplies and ease price pressures amid fluctuations in global commodity prices.

Under the labor law, a 5 percent tariff will be imposed on corn imports within the minimum access volume (MAV) or quota, while the external quota will be levied at a tariff rate of 15 percent. The total whistle-up of corn in the country is 216,940 metric tons.

The projected high import volume comes at a time when domestic corn production is expected to decline by 444,000 metric tons annually due to lower yields and a smaller harvest area, according to the USDA-FAS Manila.

FAS Manila forecasts MY 2022/23 maize production at 7.9 million metric tons, 400,000 metric tons lower than the USDA official, due to less fertilizer use due to higher fertilizer prices. The decline in production is a combination of harvested area and declining yields, the US Department of Agriculture-FAS in Manila said in a recently published Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain) report.

USDA-FAS Manila has forecast that feed maize consumption in the current market year, which started last July and ends in June next year, will rise 10.29 percent to 7.5 MMT from 6.8 MMT the year before in the market due to higher broiler production.

“It positively modifies market access for maize as previously reported on the 23 June 2022 Grain and Feed Modernization,” she said.

“In addition, broiler production is expected to rebound by 2 percent in 2023, which will lead to increased consumption of maize.”

USDA-FAS in Manila said imports of sorghum in the country will double year-on-year to 50,000 metric tons on the back of “strong first-month trade data”.

He noted that players in the feed milling industry are “open” to “cheaper” alternative energy sources such as sorghum. The USDA-FAS in Manila said corn remains the industry’s “preferred” energy source if supplies are “available”.

FAS Manila expects barley imports for 2022/23 to reach 110,000 metric tons due to the price increase. In addition, industry contacts said after experiments with barley that it remains a poor alternative to corn,” Gain reports.

“FAS Manila expects MY 2022/23 DDGS [distiller’s dried grains with solubles] Exports to be stable at 160,000 metric tons, as modest demand from feed mills is not expected to increase.”

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