Plenty supply of corn for poultry guaranteed
Private stakeholders in the Philippine corn industry assured of a stable supply of corn at market levels, enabling poultry farmers to maintain the retail prices of chicken at current levels.
According to Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap
, with corn farmers surpassing their dry season production targets during the first quarter of 2007, reports of a supply shortfall of corn are misleading.
“There is actually no shortage. The reason for relatively strong corn prices in the local market is the high demand and price abroad, which is a result of factors such as the increasing demand for corn as a biofuel feedstock and the drought in Australia,” Yap said.
Unlikely that poultry growers raise prices
Representatives of the Philippine Maize Federation Inc., Philmaize, the country’s federation of corn industry stakeholders, told Yap during the meeting that even with yellow corn costing as high as P12 (€0.19) a kilo, they do not expect poultry growers to raise prices, owing to the stable supply of the grain, which is a major component in poultry feeds.
“With this year’s high production and with imports ready to fill-in any projected shortfall during the lean months, we do not see any problem with our corn supply that would adversely affect the livestock and poultry subsectors,” said Isidro Acosta, Philmaize vice chairman.
Sustainable price level
At present, corn sells between P11 -12 (€0.17 – 0.19) per kg. DA Assistant Secretary and GMA Corn Programme Director Dennis Araullo said this price level is “sustainable” and acceptable to corn farmers, who are now encouraged to plant more because of the sustained profits in corn production.
Corn production, which reached 6.08 million mt in 2006, is targeted to increase to 6.92 million mt in 2007 – a 13.73% growth rate.
Araullo said the DA’s off-season production target, covering a total of 132,000 ha, is expected to yield an additional 350,000 to 400,000 mt of corn this year.