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Agriculture and food in Philippines

We expect Philippine crop production to improve in the 2010/11 season after 2009/10 crops were hit by a series of typhoons followed by high temperatures. Despite the production increases, the country will struggle to produce a surplus across all agricultural sectors in 2010/11. Although the government is attempting to mitigate some of the production inefficiencies through investments, the agricultural industry will continue to struggle to supply a rising population whose incomes are increasing as well. Over the forecast period, we expect the Philippines to remain either roughly in balance or in a deficit across all agriculture sectors.

Key Views

- Coffee Production Growth to 2013/14: 13% to 7.8mn bags. Government and private investment will help increase yields as new trees mature over the forecast period. Despite the growth, the country will not reach the government's planed self-sufficiency in the next few years.
- Corn production growth to 2013/14: 20% to 8.1mn tonnes. Beyond a typhoon-weakened 2009/10 output, corn production is expected to recover and return to growth driven by improving yields and an expansion of the area under harvest due to the increasing production in the livestock sector which uses corn as feed.
- Sugar production growth out to 2013/14: 33% to 2.8mn tonnes. Over our forecast period, we expect sugar output to keep expanding driven by improvements in yields and rising domestic demand.
- 2010 Real GDP Growth: 4.9% (up from 0.9% in 2009; predicted to average 4% from now until 2014).
- Consumer Price Inflation: 3.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) in July 2010 (down from 0.2% y-o-y in July 2009).

Industry Developments

Consumption of dairy products is extremely low in the Philippines given the size of its population. In 2009 fluid milk consumption reached 58,000 tonnes, up by 11.5% y-o-y. We have forecast an increase in consumption of 4.4% in 2010 taking consumption up to 60,560 tonnes of fluid milk. Over the remainder of our forecast period, we see fluid milk consumption growing by 20.7% (compared to 2009 levels) to just over 70,000 tonnes. This growth will be driven by rising incomes and increasing awareness of the health benefits of milk, as well as government action. However, this will still leave the Philippines well below consumption rates of other countries in the region.

By 2013/14 we forecast rice production to reach almost 12.7mn tonnes, surpassing 2009 levels by over 18%. This will be fuelled by continued improvements in infrastructure and yields as the government looks to attain self-sufficiency. The Philippines' agreement with Thailand to purchase 367,000 tonnes of rice per year until 2015 while keeping the 40% import tariff will also encourage domestic producers who feared being unable to compete with cheaper imports. However, we believe the country's goal to become self-sufficient over that time remains unrealistic.

Over our forecast period, we expect the livestock industry on the whole to see steady if unspectacular growth. Growth in demand for poultry will be strong over the period, but we see domestic output failing to keep up with demand, hampered by high costs and poor infrastructure. To 2014 we see poultry production growing by 13.3% from its 2009 level to 821,100 tonnes, meaning more of the country's needs will have to be supplied by imports. We forecast pork production to grow by 12.0% to 1.37mn tonnes driven by an increase in commercial farming, as well as rising domestic consumption. Cattle farming will remain marginal with beef production growing by 2.1% to 224,600 tonnes.

by S. C.
13 september 2010, World News > Asia