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BMI View: We hold a positive view on the Philippines' agribusiness sector in
the long term, given the country's potential for expansion into new sectors,
such as palm oil. We particularly like the outlook for sugar mills and believe
the livestock sector will continue to show healthy growth rates. The
Philippines' vast consumption market along with some government support, will
foster domestic and foreign investment and favour output expansion. However,
backyard farming and infrastructure problems, especially transport costs, will
continue to hamper the sector's growth. These inefficiencies will become
increasingly crippling as South East Asia moves towards the ASEAN Economic
Community, which is supposed to lead to trade and investment liberalisation in
the region. Although the Philippines' government appears to have taken the
measure of the challenge and is now supporting rice and sugar production,
agriculture in the country remains uncompetitive. As such, the sector is at risk
of low cost imports from its neighbours over the medium term.
-Sugar production growth to 2019/20: 21.0% to 2.8mn tonnes. Sugar production
growth will be driven by improvements in yields. The government approved the
Sugarcane Industry Development Act, which is aiming at diversifying the sugar
sector towards more value-added products and will provide financing to farmers.
-Poultry production growth to 2019/20: 16.3% to 1.3mn tonnes. Poultry production
will record steady but unspectacular growth. Growth will be driven by
investment, both domestic and foreign.
-Milk production growth to 2019/20: 23.4% to 25,100 tonnes. Milk and other dairy
production will remain very low in the Philippines, although it will record
strong growth due to low base effects. The government is committed to increase
domestic supply of liquid milk, via National Dairy Development Plan.