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Encouraging Palay Harvest Expected in First Quarter Despite El Niño Concerns

Despite concerns about potential El Niño impacts, the Philippines is expected to achieve a robust palay output in the first quarter, exceeding 4.8 million metric tons due to improved yields.

According to the most recent report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), palay production is expected to have increased marginally from 4.78 million MT recorded in the same time previous year to 4.8 million MT from January to March.

This predicted output could represent a record high for palay production in the first quarter, according to historical data from the PSA.

“The updated estimate of palay production for the period January to March 2024, as of February 1, shows a 0.6 percent increase from the initial estimate of 4.8 million metric tons as of January 1,” said the PSA in its most recent forecast report.

Additionally, according to the PSA, the total harvest area in the first quarter would be somewhat less than the 1.18 million hectares reported in the previous year, at roughly 1.17 million hectares. Nonetheless, an increase in productivity is anticipated to offset this decrease in harvest area, with an average yield per hectare predicted to grow from 4.06 MT to 4.11 MT.

Around 318,570 hectares of the amended harvest area had been harvested as of February 1st, yielding an output of about 1.29 million MT of palay.

In terms of corn production, the PSA projects a first-quarter total of about 2.67 million MT, up roughly six percent from 2.52 million MT in the previous year. This estimate is marginally less than the 2.69 million MT forecasted by the PSA in January.

“The harvest area based on standing crop for the period January to March 2024 may increase to 711,470 hectares, representing a 2.5 percent growth from the actual estimate of 694,390 hectares in the same period last year,” according to the PSA.

In a similar vein, the agency projects that corn yield per hectare will rise to 3.75 MT from 3.63 MT in the previous year.

About 229,350 hectares of the projected 711,470 hectare corn harvest area has been harvested as of February 1. The most recent harvested area produced 723,270 MT of corn.

“The standing corn yet to be harvested as of February 1 shows 2.2 percent in the vegetative stage, 51.8 percent in the reproductive stage, and 46 percent in the maturing stage,” the PSA stated in its report.

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