At a port in Manila, the Philippines
The Philippines is likely to miss its 2015 target for rice output after dry weather hurt the first-half harvest, raising the prospect of increased imports to boost stocks.

The Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) said unhusked rice output this year is forecast to hit 18.86 million tonnes, below both last year’s record harvest of 18.97 million tonnes and the government target of 20.08 million tonnes.

The Philippines is already one of the world’s biggest rice importers and the local government has allowed the import of an extra 250,000 tonnes this year if El Nino drought conditions worsen.

According to the PSA, the country’s rice harvest in the first half reached 8.32 million tonnes, down 0.7 percent from last year, but above a government forecast of 8.27 million tonnes.
It forecast that rice output in the second half will drop 0.5 percent to 10.54 million tonnes.

Global rice prices are expected to surge by 10 percent to 20 percent in the next few months as the El Nino grips top producers in Asia.-VNA