64,943 MT of imported rice arrive in PH

THE Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) said at least 64,943 metric tons (MT) of imported rice arrived despite a warning from farmers and rice watch groups that the retail prices of the staple food will continue to increase.

Based on the latest data from the BPI as of Jan. 12, 2023, a bulk of the fresh imports came from Vietnam with 55,303 MT; followed by Thailand, 8,080 MT; Myanmar, 1,040 MT; and Pakistan 520 MT.

According to the BPI, the rice imports were covered by 73 sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSICs).

In 2022, the total imported grains reached 3.8 million MT.

On Monday, rice watch group Bantay Bigas Spokesman Cathy Estavillo warned that retail prices of the staple food will further increase this first quarter of 2023 amid the low palay production and the failure of imported grains to bring down the prices despite the flooding in the local markets.

On the other hand, Farmers' group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) President Rosendo So said there was a P2 per kilo increase in the retail prices of rice in December 2022.

So added that while he expects a stable supply of the staple food, movement in the cost of the grains should be expected amid the increase in the farmgate price of palay.

Date: 17-Jan-2023