RP buys 85,000 tons of corn from US, Thailand

Reuters

Posted at Feb 19 2009 06:46 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2009 02:46 AM

The Philippines bought a total 85,000 tons of corn from the United States and Thailand for delivery in March, industry sources said on Thursday.

Manila-based food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp struck a deal to buy 60,000 tons US corn, one source said, declining to provide the price.

A local feedmillers' group purchased 25,000 tons of corn from Thailand at $217 a ton, including cost and freight, another source said.

The government is allowing private firms to import up to 200,000 tons of corn this year at a lower tariff to help stabilize domestic prices.

Philippine production of corn, which is used for animal feeds, is expected to drop 2.6 percent to 3.21 million tons in the first half this year, from the same period in 2008.

The government's agricultural statistics agency said last month early rains would depress corn output as excessive soil moisture delays planting of the crop.

But local supply has been boosted by recent imports after 100,000 tons of corn from Brazil, bought at $179 a ton, C&F, arrived last month. The shipment was contracted last year.