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Philippine Rice Production Rises as Acreage Climbed, UN FAO Says

Rice production in the Philippines, the world’s fourth-biggest importer, may rise 6 percent year-on-year due to increased planting, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said.

Aggregate rice production, including the main season and ongoing secondary season, may total 18 million metric tons, up from 16.998 million tons a year earlier, the Rome-based FAO wrote today in a country report on its website. That’s equivalent to 11.8 million tons of milled rice. The main-crop harvest, which finished in mid-December, rose 11 percent from a year earlier to a record 10.1 million tons, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics’ estimate cited in the report.

“The increase mainly reflects an expansion in the planted area and higher yields following favorable weather as a result of the La Nina phenomenon during the main season,” the FAO said, referring to the weather pattern caused by cooling equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean.

Corn production may total 7.42 million tons, up from 6.97 million tons a year earlier, the FAO said.

Typhoon Bopha, which brought heavy rain and wind to parts of the country in early December, likely will have only a minimal impact on national grain production, the FAO said. The storm may have damaged about 28,000 hectares of rice and 35,000 hectares of corn, mostly in the Northern Mindanao and Davao regions.

Philippine grain import requirements in the 2012-13 marketing year that began June 1 may total 4.2 million tons, 21 percent less than a year earlier, as domestic production expands, the FAO said. The country is expected to import 3.2 million tons of wheat.

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