The Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. (PAFMI) said that it is being forced to buy raw materials for animal feeds abroad as the cost of local resources are spiking and are not enough to keep up with the demand.
The group bought 81,000 metric tons (MT) of feed wheat from Australia which will be delivered in two shipments, the first of which carrying 37,000 MT will arrive in September while the second shipment of 44,200 MT is scheduled to arrive in December.
“Feed millers have to import feed wheat due to the high price of local corn which traders are quoting at P17 to P17.50 per kg in Bulacan. Feed millers and local hog and poultry raisers find the traders’ price too high considering that ex farm price of yellow corn is only P12.77 per kg.,” Nicole Sarmiento-Garcia, PAFMI’s president, said in a statement.
She explained that local traders have cornered the local corn supply and pricing it beyond the cost that will enable feed millers and hog and poultry farmers to produce animal feeds at competitive costs.
Notably, corn comprises 60 percent of the ingredients for the production of animal feeds which in turn take up 80 percent of the cost of meat and chicken production.
Amid the situation, Garcia said that they are already working with the Department of Agriculture (DA)to increase corn production which has fallen short of the feed milling sector’s requirements.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country produced eight million MT of corn last year, 25 percent or two million MT of which went to the snacks sector and other industrial use for human consumption, such as corn starch.
“Among the programs DA and PAFMI have lined up are contract corn growing which assures the farmers of a market for their produce at a reasonable margin. The DA has also linked the feed millers to the local governments of Isabela Province and Paracelis in Mountain Province for direct purchase of the corn produce of farmers from these local government units,” she further stated.
At present, local feed millers and hog and poultry raisers require nearly 10 million MT of cornannually but are forced to import corn and feed wheat as an alternative material to produce feeds.
Corn is still the preferred ingredient due to its higher carbohydrate content which provides the energy giving component of the feed formula while soybean meal provides protein in the feed formulation.
PAFMI is the oldest and biggest association of feed producers in the country with 33 member companies producing around 70 percent of the Philippines’ animal feed products including San Miguel Corp., Universal Robina Corp., Philippine Foremost Milling Co., Pilmico Foods Inc., General Milling Corp. and Vitarich Corp.