MANILA, Philippines - Unmilled rice output in the Philippines, one of the world's major rice buyers, is forecast to grow 4.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2013, the government said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian country, which buys most of its rice imports from neighbor Vietnam, is aiming to become self-sufficient in the grain by next year.
Unmilled rice production in January to March is forecast to reach 4.16 million tons, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) said in a quarterly report.
Rice output in the fourth quarter of this year is forecast to grow 9.2 percent from a year earlier to 6.49 million tonnes, based on standing crops, bringing full-year production to 17.98 million tons, the BAS said.
Corn output in the first quarter of 2013 is forecast to rise 0.4 percent to 2.03 million tons.