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Rice imports surge 84.5%; Vietnam still top supplier

12 March 2024

THE country's volume of imported rice almost doubled during the first two months of 2024, data from the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) showed.

Rice delivered to the Philippines in January and February totaled 728,254.49 metric tons (MT), higher by 84.57 percent or almost twice the 394,553.66 MT of rice imports in the same months last year.

For February alone, rice shipments were recorded at 303,603.69 MT, lower by 28.5 percent from the previous month's import level of 424,650.80 MT. Year-on-year, this was higher by 113.6 percent from February 2023's import level of 142,079 MT.

Last month's import volume was within the monthly minimum rice import level of 330,00 MT, enough to fill in the average consumption of 37 MT a day, DA Undersecretary Roger Navarro said.

For the whole year, this is equivalent to around 2.6 to 2.8 million MT of rice imports.

Since the year started, the BPI has released 1,009 sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSICs) to accredited rice importers.

The bulk of the country's imported rice came from Vietnam, which remains the country's top source of rice, having shipped in 390,997.22 MT of the staple, or 53.68 percent of the total imports.

Thailand also delivered about 195,921.38 MT of rice, Pakistan followed with 96,627.50 MT, while 41,160 MT was sourced from Myanmar.

The remaining volume was shared by Cambodia, Japan, India and Italy.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasted that rice imports of the Philippines for 2024 will hit 4.1 million MT, higher than their earlier forecast of 3.9 million MT.

In its latest World Markets and Trade report, USDA said that the Philippines remains the top importer of the staple in the international market.

The agency attributed the high imports to the small volume of local harvest.

Last year, inbound shipments of the staple totaled 3.6 million MT, down 5.9 percent from the record-high 3.82 million MT logged in 2022.

Source : manilatimes