Global Hot Spots: El Nino hurts crops in Philippines

Global Hot Spots: El Nino hurts crops in Philippines

South Africa may have to import wheat.

Philippines farm output hurt by El Nino-related drought - Reuters

First quarter farm output in the Philippines dropped 4.53% from a year ago due to a severe drought that has been linked to El Nino, according to a Reuters report.

The decline was attributed to the country’s statistics agency, which said crop output was down 8.55%, with rice production down nearly 10% and corn down 19%. Fisheries were down 5.11%, but livestock and poultry production were up 4.66% and about 1%, respectively.

Agriculture accounts for about a tenth of the country’s overall economic output.

South Africa to import wheat as drought hurts production – Bloomberg

South Africa to import wheat; Philippines farm output hurt by El Nino.

South Africa may have to import about 2 million metric tons of wheat this year after drought cut last year’s production to a four-year low, according to a Bloomberg report.

The 2 million tons would be the largest import total since 1991, an agricultural economist said in the story.

South Africa is the sub-Saharan region’s biggest producer of wheat after Ethiopia, but is a net importer of the grain, according to USDA data.

The driest conditions since records started in 1904 have damaged crops and livestock and sent local wheat prices to the highest on record in January, driving up food prices. The government has declared disaster areas in several provinces of the country, the continent’s biggest corn and sugar grower, the story said.

Growers are expected to plant 481,850 hectares (1.19 million acres) of wheat in the 2016 season, the Crop Estimates Committee said in its first estimate for the period. That compares with 482,150 hectares (1.2 million acres) a year earlier.

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