Philippines sees 2014 rice output below target

Posted at 08/15/14 2:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will likely produce 18.69 million tons of unmilled rice this year, the state statistics office said on Friday, below a government target of 19.07 million tons.

This year's output, however, is seen up 1.4 percent from last year's record harvest of 18.44 million tons, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a report.

Unmilled rice output in the third quarter is forecast to drop 11 percent from a year ago to 2.99 million tonnes, based on standing crops, the PSA said.

First-half production grew 4.8 percent to 8.38 million tons.

The agriculture department hopes the country's rice harvest will grow an average 3.6 percent between 2014 and 2016 to make the country, one of the world's biggest buyers of the grain, less dependent on imports.