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Reference Date: 11-June-2015

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Uncertain prospects for 2015 main season rice crop due to below-average rains

  2. Cereal imports in 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) projected to increase from last year’s high level

  3. Prices of rice continued to weaken over past few months

Uncertain prospects for 2015 main season rice crop due to below-average rains

Planting of the 2015 main season rice crop, which is mainly rainfed and accounts for about 55 percent of the annual production is nearing completion. Remote sensing data indicates lower-than-average rainfall in April and May over most of the country, similar to the pattern of the same period last year. The low precipitation may have delayed planting operations and reduced sowings particularly for the rainfed rice crop. The current dry weather may be attributed to the onset of a weak El Niño event this year, as the phenomenon is often associated with below-average precipitation in the country. Yet, considerable uncertainty persists about the intensity and duration of the El Niño event, as well as its impact on crops. Rainfall performance in the following weeks will be crucial for avoiding reductions in plantings and yield potential of the 2015 main season rice crop, to be harvested from mid-September onwards. At this early stage of the season, FAO tentatively projects the 2015 aggregate rice output at around last year’s level of 18.4 million tonnes.

Similarly to rice, planting of the 2015 main season maize crop is currently underway under generally below-average rains. Assuming that rains will improve in the forthcoming weeks, FAO preliminarily forecasts the 2015 aggregate maize production at 7.5 million tonnes, 3 percent below last year’s high level, as yields are expected to return to average from last year’s record.

The FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System will continue to closely monitor the weather situation and assess possible effects on rice production.

Cereal imports in 2014/15 marketing year projected to increase from last year’s high level

Cereal imports in the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are projected at 5.5 million tonnes, 6 percent above last year’s high level and 27 percent up from the previous five-year average. The increase is attributed to higher wheat imports, which are projected to increase by 22 percent from last year’s low level and reach 3.3 million tonnes, as a result of increased demand from the food and feed industry. Maize imports are expected to decrease by 17 percent to 500 000 tonnes, due to larger domestic availabilities from the good production in 2014. Rice imports in 2015 are forecast to decline to 1.7 million tonnes from the 1.9 million tonnes of last year.

Prices of rice continued to weaken over past few months

The national average prices of regular and well-milled rice varieties continued to weaken over the past few months, as a result of ample supplies from the 2015 secondary season rice harvest. Overall, rice prices were slightly below their high levels of a year earlier.











Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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