Image Source: wantchinatimes.com
Image Source: wantchinatimes.com

MANILA — The Department of Agriculture (DA) achieved yellow corn sufficiency last year, and officials believe that if the yield from January to March 2014 reaches 2.1 million metric tons (MMT), the country may have enough yellow corn for animal feed until December.

Senior DA officials made this assessment recently after analyzing field data and the current corn stands nationwide.

Statistics culled from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), Philippine Center for Post-harvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), Livestock Development Center (LDC) and the Philippine Association of Feed Millers (PAFMI) showed that the ending stock was sufficient to last for five months without imports of feedwheat.

With imported yellow corn and feedwheat, the total inventory would be sufficient for the next 7.5 months.

“We attained sufficiency last year and we are confident to supply the needs of the livestock and poultry industries even if yellow corn registers zero growth in 2014,” an analyst of the National Corn Program (NCP) said.

If a huge surplus is secured this year, some officials argue that corn and feedwheat imports may have to be controlled to compel the private sector to buy local corn and corn substitutes.

Based on the official data submitted to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, the supply of yellow corn and corn substitutes without imports last year was 7.8 MMT, with the beginning stock placed at 2.386 MMT and the net local yellow corn available at 4.871 MMT.

The gross local yellow corn output was actually 5.248 MMT but the NCP subtracts 7.18 percent, or 377,000 MT, from the total volume as postharvest losses.

NCP also adds cassava as corn equivalent for animal feed, with the volume at 543,000 MT.

All told, the demand for feeds last year was 5.265 MMT, leaving the 2013 ending stock at 2.535 MMT, which is enough for industry needs for five months, or until May 2014.

One DA official said the picture changed significantly when private sector imports of yellow corn and feedwheat are taken into account.

PAFMI reported that a total of 1.349 MMT of yellow corn and feedwheat were imported in 2013, broken down into 404,000 MT of yellow corn and 945,000 MT of feedwheat.

With the imports included in the equation, the total supply of yellow corn and corn substitutes for 2013 zoomed to 9.149 MMT.

Subtracting the demand of 5.265 MMT from the total supply of 9.149 MMT, the ending stock would rise to 3.884 MMT, which is enough for 7.5 months.

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