6th May, 2006: DAGUPAN - Pangasinan—Traders and feed millers plan to bring in additional corn imports to cover an annual supply deficit of 1.3 million metric tons.
“The industry has to cope with the growing demand both for food corn and corn as animal feeds,” said Ricardo Pinca, vice president of the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc., during the 4th National Corn Congress here.
“If we do not bring in corn, prices of chicken, other poultry products, pork and other hog products will continue to rise beyond the purchasing capacity of consumers.”
The P103.25 billion feed milling industry last year produced 8.6 million mt of feeds, or about 172 million bags of 50 kilograms each. Corn comprise half of the total feed mill production and the rest are corn-substitutes such as feed wheat and soybean meal.
The Philippines imported about 57,000 mt of corn, 1.6 million mt of soybean meal, 170,000 mt of soybean and 600,000 mt of feed wheat against local yellow corn production of 3 million mt.
Total corn imports for the year amount to 279,642 mt, of which 102,792 mt have arrived.
Corn imports have breached the minimum access volume of 216,000 mt. Tariff on corn imports over the MAV is pegged at 30 to 45 percent.
“Because of the magnitude of the shortfall we have, there is really a need to import corn rather than have a crisis situation later,” Pinca said.
By Othel V. Campos