Rice imports as of Sept. 8 exceed 2021 volume

  • A total of 137 eligible rice importers brought in rice from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam from January 1 to September 8.

    The Philippines’s rice imports as of September 8 breached the 2.8-million metric ton (MMT) mark and surpassed last year’s volume of 2.771 MMT, the latest government data showed.

    Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) data indicated that total rice imports from January 1 to September 8 reached 2.806 MMT, or 1.26 percent higher than the 2.771 MMT of rice imported by the country in 2021.

    BPI data showed that Vietnam accounted for 82.18 percent or about 2.306 MMT of the total volume of rice imported during the period. Vietnam was followed by Myanmar with 202,319.280 metric tons (MT) and Thailand with 140,171.375 MT.

    A total of 137 eligible rice importers brought in rice from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam from January 1 to September 8. The importers used a total of 3,155 sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPS-IC), according to BPI data.

    BPI data showed that NAN Stu Agri Traders led all rice importers with a total import volume of 141,620 MT followed by Manus Dei Resources Ent. Inc. with 136,881 MT, and Lucky Buy and Sell with 127,483 MT.

    Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. President Danilo V. Fausto said the increase in rice imports may dampen local unmilled rice prices as the market is “overflowing with supply.”

    “Palay prices being harvested today and next month would be affected. Farm-gate prices will not go up,” Fausto told the BusinessMirror.

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier revised upward its total rice import forecast for the Philippines this year to a record level of 3.4 MMT, from an earlier estimate of 3.2 MMT.

    In its monthly global grain report, the USDA increased its total rice import forecast for the Philippines this year by 200,000 MT due to “large purchases from Vietnam.”

    The new import forecast for the Philippines, the world’s second-largest buyer of rice, is 15.25 percent higher than the 2.95 MMT of rice it imported last year, based on USDA data.

    If the forecast materializes, this would be the first time in the Philippines’s history that it would import more than 3 MMT of rice, according to historical USDA data.

    The Philippine Statistics Authority reported last month that the value of the country’s agricultural output in the first half contracted by 0.4 percent, mainly due to the anemic performance of the crops and fisheries subsectors.

    Data released by the PSA showed that the value of farm output in January to June (at constant 2018 prices) reached P853.087 billion, lower than last year’s P856.66 billion.

    In terms of volume, the country’s unmilled rice production contracted by 0.63 percent to 8.743 MMT in January to June, from last year’s 8.799 MMT. Corn output, however, rose by 1.1 percent year-on-year to 3.926 MMT. Palay and corn account for the bulk of the crops subsector’s output.

  • Govt to import another nine lakh tonnes of rice

  • The cabinet committee on economic affairs in a meeting on Wednesday agreed in principle to import 9,00,000 tonnes of more rice.

    Presided over by finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, the online meeting approved a proposal from the Directorate General of Food to import 4,00,000 tonnes under the direct purchase method and 5,00,000 tonnes through open tender.

    In a briefing, additional secretary Md Abdul Barik of the cabinet division said that the name of importing country would be informed later.

    With the latest decision taken in a fortnight’s time, the government is going to import 19,30,000 tonnes of rice and wheat.

    On September 7, a meeting of the cabinet committee on government purchase decided to import 2,00,000 tonnes of non-boiled rice from Myanmar.

    On August 21, the government decided to procure 5,00,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia and 3.30 lakh tonnes of rice from India and Vietnam.

    India will supply 1,00,000  tonnes of non-Basmati rice and  Vietnam 2,00,000 tonnes of non-Basmati rice and 30,000 tonnes of non-boiled rice.

    Officials at the Directorate General of Food said that they were directed to find out alternative sources of food import to maintain the country’s food security amid apprehension of food shortage in November.

  • Shipment from Vietnam aboveboard – rice importer

  • ONE of the importers/consignees of the rice shipment that reached Iloilo claimed to have all the supporting importation documents to prove that duties and taxes were paid.

    Famint Corp. strongly objected to its inclusion in the list of importer/consignees that were implicated in the alleged anomalous importation of 38,400 metric tons of Vietnam rice worth more than P1 billion.

    "Famint has valid sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances from the Bureau of Plant Industry, the Department of Agriculture for all its rice importations, and has duly declared all these importations with the Bureau of Customs, and paid all the applicable customs, tariffs and taxes," it said in a statement.

    "At all times, Farmint ensures and upholds compliance to all laws and regulations of the Philippines, particularly relevant government agencies, in relation to its rice importation," it added.

    The Port of Iloilo earlier acknowledged the unloading of rice but claimed that the shipments were properly documented.

    It said that the rice shipments on board MV Hai Ha 58, MV Hoa Binh 54 and MV Hai Dang 168 were covered with clearances and permits issued by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry and that P83,322,586.68 in customs duties and taxes were paid.

    MV Royal 18, which was also carrying rice, is at the anchorage area and waiting for berthing space.

  • PHL seen to import record 3.2-MMT rice in ’22

  • THE Philippines, the world’s second-biggest buyer of rice, may import a record 3.2 million metric tons (MMT) this year, driven by higher-than-expected purchases abroad, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.

    In its monthly global grains situation report, the USDA revised upward its rice import forecast for the Philippines in 2022 by 100,000 MT from an earlier estimate of 3.1 MMT.

    Based on its latest projections, the USDA said the Philippines’s total rice imports this year would be 8.47 percent higher than last year’s 2.95 MMT recorded import volume.

    The USDA explained that it revised upwards its rice import projection for the Philippines because of the “strong” pace of imports this year.

    The Philippines’s rice imports from January to July rose by 62 percent to 2.325 MMT from last year’s 1.432 MMT, based on latest data released by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

    BPI data showed that 81.72 percent or about 1.9 MMT of the rice imported during the 7-month period came from Vietnam.

    BPI data also showed that it issued 448 sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPS-ICs) to 47 eligible rice importers with a total corresponding import volume of 625,743.6 MT. The 448 SPS-ICs were all issued by BPI in June.

    The USDA kept its local rice production projection for the Philippines at 12.6 MMT, or 1.44 percent higher than last year’s 12.42 MMT.

    Per USDA data, total area planted with rice this year would reach 4.8 million hectares, slightly higher than last year’s 4.76 million hectares. The Philippines’s average rice yield is projected to inch up to 4.17 MT per hectare from 4.14 MT per hectare, based on USDA data.

    The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier reported that the country’s total rice inventory as of June declined by 12.3 percent to 2.22 MMT from last year’s 2.53 MMT.

    The PSA said about 47.3 percent or some 1.049 MMT of rice were stored by households while 44.8 percent or 995,230 MT were held by commercial entities (warehouses, wholesalers and retailers). The PSA added that rice stocks in the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses as of June 1 reached 175,490 MT, accounting for 7.9 percent of total inventory during the reference period.

    “Rice stocks inventory in all sectors decreased compared with their levels in the previous year. Stocks in the households dropped by -7.3 percent, in commercial warehouses/wholesalers/retailers by -15.2 percent, and in NFA depositories by -22.0 percent,” it said.

  • Deadline extended for opening LCs for rice import

  • Farmers of most upazilas of Bogura have started preparing their land for Aman paddy transplantation. The photo was taken in Khamarkandi area of Bogura’s Sherpur upazila on Saturday. Photo: Mostafa Shabuj

    The food ministry has extended the deadline for private firms to open letters of credit (LCs) for importing rice until August 21 this year.

    The move comes as traders have been shy in opening LCs amid the increasing dollar cost and uncertainty whether they would be able to make profit by bringing in the staple grain.

    By the end of June, the government started allowing private firms to import rice to curb the spiralling domestic prices by increasing supply in local markets.

    Until now, the food ministry has granted permission for businesses to import around 10 lakh tonnes of rice at reduced duty and they have since received clearance to bring 600,000 tonnes, said a senior official of the food ministry.

    However, between July 1 and July 27, private traders imported just 5,500 tonnes of rice, according to food ministry data.

    Officials said a number of firms that are yet to open LCs to import rice had urged the government to the extend the deadline that ended yesterday.

    "Our objective is to facilitate imports and that would not be possible if we did not extend the deadline," he added.

    Chitta Majumder, managing director of Majumder Group of Industries, which operates rice mills and also imports the grain, said banks are not showing interest to open LCs amid the dollar scarcity. In addition, they are asking for a higher rate -- Tk 107 per dollar -- in case of payments above $100,000.

    "Rice prices are high in India and in this situation, many are not showing interest to import the grain assuming they would not be able to make profit," he added.

    Majumder got permission to import 50,000 tonnes of rice and his firm has imported around 2,000 tonnes so far.

    Over the last one month, rice prices declined for the government move to facilitate imports by slashing import tariff to 25 per cent from 62.5 per cent until October 31.

    Yesterday, prices of the coarse grain stood at Tk 48 to Tk 50 per kilogramme in Dhaka, down 2 per cent from a month ago, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.

  • South Korea tenders to buy ‭‭about 92,100 tonnes rice – traders

  • South Korea’s state-backed Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. has issued an international tender to purchase an estimated 92,100 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States, China and other origins, European traders said on Monday.

    The deadline for registration to participate in the tender is Aug. 3.

    Non-glutinous brown rice is sought, with some 58,800 tonnes of medium grain to be sourced from the United States. The rest is short and long grain rice with about 22,200 tonnes to be sourced from China and the rest from optional origins.

    The rice is sought for arrival in South Korea in 2023 between February and April, they said.
    Source: Reuters (Reporting by Michael Hogan)

  • Pricier dollar discourages rice import

  • Bangladesh fears its rice production may decline this year due to natural calamities

    A pricier US dollar jeopardises the government's plan to cool off the local rice market through imports as traders are not showing any interest in bringing in the food staple from the international market.

    Rice traders say imported rice would cost at least Tk5 more per kg than the local produce thanks to a strong greenback and high import duty.

    Neighbouring India accounts for 80% of Bangladesh's rice imports through private channels. According to importers, the price of the crop has not gone up in the Indian market though the Russia-Ukraine war triggered a record price surge in the global food market.

    "Rice prices in India did not spiral, but rather dropped slightly as the dollar went up. This will not hurt exporters, but it appears to be an issue for those who import," Shahidur Rahman Patwari, an importer and vice-president of the Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association, told The Business Standard.

    In the first week of July, Shahidur obtained government approval to import 7,000 tonnes of rice. But he is yet to open a letter of credit for it.

    "The dollar is now at Tk98 – it was Tk84-85 last year – causing rice import to cost around Tk6 more per kg," the importer said on 6 July.

    According to importers, the price of BR-28, a medium-fine rice variety, is at $430-435 or Tk42,630 per tonne in India. There is a 25% import duty plus additional import processing charges. Ultimately, the price of the rice in the local market will stand at Tk54 per kg, while the locally produced variety is now selling for Tk48-Tk49 at mill gates.

    Similarly, imported coarse rice costs Tk48 per kg while locally produced varieties are at Tk43 a kg.

    Traders say besides India they can source rice from Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan. But these alternatives cost even more.

    Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman, senior assistant secretary (External Procurement) at the Ministry of Food, told TBS that some 218 private importers have been permitted to import 6.55 lakh tonnes of rice as of 6 July.

    Millers say many of them obtained the permission, and rice can be imported from India within a week. But no one is stepping up for fear of losses.

    According to the food stock report of the food ministry, no rice was imported from 1 July 2022 to 5 July 2022. However, import permissions have been issued since the last week of June.

    The authorities issued permissions to 415 importers to bring in around 17 lakh tonnes of rice in late 2021. But only 3.31 lakh tonnes of the crop were imported as costs had been ticking up.

    Food Secretary Md Ismiel Hossain said the government would allow 10 lakh tonnes of rice import initially. After verifying the impact on the local market, another 7 lakh tonnes might be allowed to be imported later.

    "Our main objective is to increase supply. That is why we have to import," he added.

    Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder expressed concern that rice production may decline this year due to natural calamities. However, the agriculture ministry claims that production will surpass the previous year's 1.98 lakh tonne rice yield.

    The government is now purchasing paddy and rice at the grassroots level to boost its food stock. However, procurement of paddy, parboiled and sun-dried rice is still far below the annual target.

    At a food ministry meeting around a month ago, worries that procurement might miss the targets this year were voiced.

  • RPT-ASIA RICE-BUYERS TURN TO CHEAPER INDIA GRAINS, BANGLADESH CUTS IMPORT DUTY

  • * Thai prices at $412-$415/t vs $420-$425/t last week

    * Thai farmers under pressure from rising fertilizer prices-trader

    * Vietnam rates at $415-$420/t vs $418-$423/t last week

    By Eileen Soreng

    July 1 (Reuters) - Demand for Indian rice was robust this week as a weaker rupee made the staple more attractive than that from Thailand and Vietnam, while Bangladesh cut its import duty to cool surging domestic prices.

    Bangladesh has cut the import duty on rice to 25% from 62.5%, with traders saying a huge volume will come from neighbouring India.

    Deadly floods have damaged large areas of crop and have caused domestic prices to spike, even though it is peak harvesting season for the country's biggest rice crop.

    While Bangladesh is the world's third-biggest rice producer, it often requires imports to cope with shortages due to natural disasters such as cyclones and floods.

    Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety <RI-INBKN5-P1> was quoted at $355 to $360 per tonne, unchanged from last week.

    "Buyers have been giving preference to Indian rice because of lower prices. Demand is robust for 25% and 100% broken white rice," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

    Thailand's 5% broken rice prices <RI-THBKN5-P1> fell to $412-$415 per tonne from $420-$425 last week.

    "Demand is coming in, but not in large amounts. The market is quiet - India rice prices are lower than that of Thailand," a Bangkok-based trader said.

    While the farmers are expecting a good yield this year, they are under pressure from rising costs of fertilizer, the trader added.

    Vietnam's 5% broken rice <RI-VNBKN5-P1> was offered at $415-$420 per tonne on Thursday, compared with $418-$423 a week ago.

    "Domestic supplies are building up with more output from the ongoing harvest of the summer-autumn crop," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

    Data on Wednesday showed that Vietnam's rice exports in January-June were estimated to have risen 16.2% from a year earlier to 3.5 million tonnes, with revenue from rice exports up 4.6%.

    (Reporting by Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Chayut Setboonsarng in Bangkok, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

  • ‘New government must spend ₧160B for cheap rice’

  • A worker at the National Food Authority sweeps the rice grains at their warehouse in FTI, Taguig City in this BusinessMirror file photo.

    The incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. must shell out over P160 billion in the next six years for a proposed program that would allow poor Filipinos to buy rice at P20 per kilogram.

    Outgoing Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the president-elect, who has designated himself as the next agriculture chief, must issue an executive order (EO) that would mandate the National Food Authority (NFA) to boost its current buffer rice stock level.

    “I would like to believe that within the 100 days an executive order can be issued by the president mandating the NFA to increase buffer stock from the present level that they have which is good for only 7 days because of the limited budget of P7 billion,” Dar said in a televised interview.

    Dar said the budget of the NFA must be hiked annually starting this year until 2027 to improve the state-run food agency’s capacity of buying and selling rice to the public.

    “Our proposal (is) for the NFA to be given (an) additional budget. For example this year, (set aside) P4 billion to prop up their procurement,” he said. “So, this is on top of the P7 billion so there will now be P11 billion to procure palay that will bring them up to the level of about nine-day buffer stock.”

    Dar said the budget of the NFA must be increased to the following amounts: P33.5 billion in 2024, P36.5 billion in 2025, P37 billion in 2026 and P37.5 billion in 2027.

    “Say now the NFA will have a 9-day buffer stock this year (and this will go up) to say 15 day by mid-year of next year. And by the end of next year, 30-day buffer stock will be managed by NFA,” he said.

    “The NFA will have more exposure now in the procurement of palay, that it can maintain good prices of palay, at the same time whatever they bring out to the market in terms of rice, they can now sell it P20 to the 4Ps [Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program]. So, little by little, you are able to give priority to focus groups or targeted groups like the 4Ps, who can buy P20 per kg of NFA rice.”

    Latest data from the Department of Social Welfare and development showed that about 4.2 million Filipino households or some 16 million Filipinos benefit from the 4Ps program today.

    The reduction in the price of the staple to P20 per kg is one of the campaign promises of Marcos Jr. He later clarified that it is an “aspiration” of his administration.

    Dar also disclosed that he has crafted a plan that will slash the retail price of rice to P27.50 per kg. This will be done via the programs dubbed Masagana 150 and Masagana 200, which were patterned after the Masagana 99 program of the president-elect’s father, the strongman Ferdinand Sr.

    Masagana 150 is an inbred rice program that would increase the average yield of farmers to 150 cavans per hectare or about 7.5 metric tons (MT) per hectare while Masagana 200, which is a hybrid rice program, would boost farmers’ average yield to 200 cavans per hectare or about 10 MT per hectare.

    “[These are] new [programs] that will be simultaneously implemented towards that level of P27.50 [per kg]. Over a period of time, we can go to the level of P27.50 [per kg] as this is the overll price now for the public market,” said Dar.

    “So eventually you continue to maintain that 30-day buffer stocking of NFA and of course you have to pay for that. While you’re making sure that the new programs are going to be properly implemented, with all the components necessary and interventions, then we increase productivity, we lower the cost of production.”

  • Sri Lanka import 50,000 Mt rice under Indian credit line: Wickremesinghe

  • Crisis-hit Sri Lanka has decided to import 50,000 metric tonnes of rice under the Indian credit line to curb an abnormal rise in rice prices, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday

    Crisis-hit Sri Lanka has decided to import 50,000 metric tonnes of rice under the Indian credit line to curb an abnormal rise in rice prices, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday, as the island nation is grappling with an impending food shortage.

    The decision was taken after a discussion held at the Prime Minister's Office to allocate funds to the State Trading Corporation under the Indian loan assistance programme, news portal EconomyNext reported.

    This is expected to avert a possible rice shortage in the future and to curb the abnormal rise in rice prices, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Thursday.

    In March, India extended a USD 1 billion credit line to the cash-strapped Sri Lankan government to tide over the current economic turmoil as well as in dealing with the food shortage.

    After an agreement to extend the line of credit was inked, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has always stood with the people of Sri Lanka and will continue to extend all possible support to the country.

    In April 2021, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced a ban on chemical fertilisers, which led to a crippling blow to the production of rice and other essential food items.

    Prior to the fertiliser ban, Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in rice production.

    The situation was exacerbated by an acute scarcity of foreign exchange reserves, which meant that the Sri Lankan economy would head into a tailspin.

    The UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy had said that nearly 4.9 million are currently in need of food assistance, making up for nearly 25 per cent of the country's population.

    With Sri Lanka in the throes of an impending food shortage, Wickremesinghe has invited David Beasley, the Executive Director at the United Nations World Food Programme to visit Sri Lanka.

    The nearly bankrupt country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026.

    Sri Lanka's total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.

    (Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

  • Panama to import rice to guarantee supply to the population

  • Panama City, Jun 7 (Prensa Latina) The government of Panama decided to import some 60 thousand tons of rice to guarantee the consumption of one of the country’s main products.

    According to the most recent decision taken by the Rice Agro-Food Chain, the acquisition of rice will allow the supply to the population until the deliveries of the current harvest have been regulated.

    The measure was adopted following over five hours of debate between representatives of the producer unions, millers, food distributors, regulatory entities and consumers.

    According to the Minister of Agricultural Development, Augusto Valderrama, the decision was taken based on reports presented on the supply calculations, prepared by officials of the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition and technicians the entity.

    In his opinion, the agreement will help guarantee the food security of Panamanians, amid problems due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise in supply costs.

    For his part, the president of the Rice Chain, Alexander Araúz, explained that after analyzing the statistics, as well as the progress of sowing, it was found that there is enough rice in the country until next September.

    He added that 60 thousand tons of rice will be imported, to begin on begin on August 1st, so as to further strengthen supply.

  • Bangladesh to import rice privately amid rising prices, says food minister

  • The government has decided to import rice privately to keep the market stable, says Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder.

    The decision came at a meeting of the Food Planning and Monitoring Committee on Monday amid the soaring prices of rice in the country despite the harvest season.

    The meeting resolution will soon be sent to the prime minister before determining the steps to follow, the minister said.

    “We’ve discussed importing the rice duty-free. We’ll ensure that the farmers, market and others related [to the rice trade] don’t face losses. The prime minister will give the final decision on the matter,” Sadhan said after the virtual meeting.

    On the ongoing crackdown, he said the consumers are benefiting from the success of the drives. These operations to identify illegal rice hoarders will continue.

    The spike in prices amid the Boro paddy harvest season prompted the government to initiate a crackdown on unauthorised hoarding by traders.

    Rice prices fall when the products of the Boro season arrive in the market, but this time the staple is getting costlier.

    Wholesalers say the mills have raised prices. The mill owners have blamed a rise in the prices of paddy this season for the spike in rice prices.

    Speaking at a meeting on the collection of paddy during the Boro season at the end of last month, Sadhan had brushed aside the mill owners’ claim, alleging that they were engaged in an “evil competition”.

    He had said mill owners are hoarding newly produced paddy of this Boro season and releasing rice from old stocks.

    At another meeting on market monitoring last month, the minister had said the government will encourage rice imports by lowering taxes if it was necessary to ease the consumers’ suffering.

    Meanwhile, India's surprise ban on wheat exports prompted rice traders to increase purchases and place unusual orders for longer-dated deliveries, fearing the world's top rice exporter may restrict those shipments as well.

    In the last two weeks, traders have signed contracts to export 1 million tonnes of rice for shipments from June through September and are opening letters of credit or LCs quickly after signing deals to ensure the contracted quantity will be sent even if India restricts exports, Reuters reported.

    Those forward purchases come on top of roughly 9.6 million tonnes of rice already shipped out of India this year - in line with record 2021 shipments - and may reduce the amount of grain available for other buyers during the coming months as loading schedules fill.

    "International traders pre-booked for the next three to four months and everybody opened LCs to ensure business continuity," said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at Satyam Balajee, India's biggest rice exporter.

    Overseas buyers are looking for Indian rice because it is far cheaper than rivals, said BV Krishna Rao, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association.

    Indian 5% broken white rice is offered between $330 to $340 per tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, significantly lower than Thailand's $455 to $460 a tonne and Vietnam's $420 to $425, dealers said.

    Thailand and Vietnam are not able to compete with India and they are trying to explore ways to support prices, Thailand's government has said.

    If India restricts exports, global prices could jump sharply, said a New-Delhi-based dealer with a global trading house.

    "Indian rice is more than 30% cheaper than other destinations. Poor buyers in Asia and Africa would be forced to pay very high prices if India restricts exports. That's why there is a rush to buy Indian rice," the dealer said.

    India exported a record 21.5 million tonnes of rice in 2021, compared with combined exports of 12.4 million tonnes by Vietnam and Thailand.

  • ‘PHL to import more rice as output to stay flat’

  • The Philippines could retain its status as the world’s second largest buyer of rice for the fourth consecutive year in 2023, when total import volume is projected to reach 3 million metric tons (MMT).

    In its monthly global grain report, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the Philippines’s rice imports this year and next year would hit the 3-MMT level.

    This is the first trade projection made by the USDA for calendar year 2023. The agency said China, which is expected to purchase 6 MMT, will remain as the world’s top buyer of rice.

    The international agency said it expects local rice production in the Philippines to stay flat next year and this will provide opportunities for higher imports to meet the growing demand for the staple.

    “Flat production and ample stocks keep imports steady even as consumption grows,” the USDA said in its report released recently.

    The USDA projected that the Philippines’s rice output next year would slightly decline to 12.411 MMT from a projected record of 12.474 MMT this year.

    The country’s total rice production this year would be 58,000 MT higher than the 12.416 MMT recorded output last year, based on USDA data.

    The USDA said the Philippines’s total rice consumption would increase as consumers shift to the staple from more expensive wheat-based products, which are affected by the spike in raw material prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    “Consumption is also up in the Philippines as the high price of wheat is expected to raise consumption of rice for food,” it said.

    USDA data showed that the country’s total rice consumption next year would expand by 150,000 metric tons (MT) to 15.35 MMT from an estimated total requirement of 15.2 MMT this year. Likewise, the USDA projected that total rice consumption of the Philippines this year would be 5 percent higher than last year’s 14.45 MMT.

    The country’s rice imports in the first quarter surged by almost 70 percent year-on-year to 985,139.995 MT as importers brought in more staple food in anticipation of tighter world supply and lower domestic output.

    Latest Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) data showed that rice imports during the January-to-March period were 404,057.065 MT higher than the 581,082.93 MT recorded last year.

    In March alone, about 414,243.005 MT of rice entered the country.

    Historical BPI data showed that the 985,139.995 MT of rice imports from January to March is the highest first-quarter import volume recorded by the country since the implementation of rice trade liberalization law in 2019.

    Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and Research Fermin D. Adriano cited two possible reasons for the rise in imports: the importers’ expectation of tighter global staple supply and the projected lower domestic rice output.

    Adriano said some wheat-eating countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East are projected to shift to rice due to global supply problems caused by the Ukraine-Russia war.

    He also said the expected decline in local palay production due to the reduction in fertilizer use had prompted importers to bring in more rice from abroad.

    An industry group told the BusinessMirror earlier that the election season had contributed to the need for more rice imports given the demand for low-cost rice.

    “The election campaigns and relief operations, however, created the demand for low-priced rice in the market that can be supplied by some countries like Myanmar,” multisector industry group Philippine Rice Industry Stakeholders Movement (Prism) said.

    The group said the current government “can ill afford” a repeat of the 2018 rice price crisis when prices of palay and milled rice skyrocketed and caused inflation to accelerate.

    “Panic buying and long queuing for rice can be disastrous for public image during election.”

  • Rice favorable pricing boosts china’s import demand

  • With global rice supplies plentiful, rice prices have escaped the volatility besetting most other grains. While rice futures are up nearly 6% so far this year, wheat, for example, has gained more than 40%, and corn is up 33%.

    The price differentials are boosting demand for rice as a substitute for other grains, including in animal feed. China’s rice imports are currently forecasted to be at their highest levels since 2018. Much of China’s imports are of broken rice, which is cheaper than whole grain rice. 

    China’s increased rice imports could in turn reduce its need to import higher-priced corn. So far this season China’s corn imports are down year over year. China has recently turned to the US for corn imports as shipments from Ukraine, its second-largest supplier of corn imports, are halted. 

    China is the world’s largest producer of rice, but domestic rice prices don’t usually favor its use in animal feed because the rice first needs to be dehulled, which can add some 30% to its final cost. 

    Rice is the primary staple for more than half the world's population. Strong production in major exporting countries, including India, Thailand, and Vietnam, has bolstered global rice inventories. Rice stocks-to-use ratio, a key measure of supply availability, is at 27% for the major exporters, the highest in recent history. By contrast, wheat stocks-to-use are at their lowest level since 2013.  

    India had a bumper rice harvest last year, boosting exports to record levels in 2021/22, especially to Africa and neighboring countries in Asia. India’s next rice crop will be planted in June-July and production prospects will depend to a great extent on the monsoon rains. 

    India, the world’s largest exporter of rice, had stellar production last year. Monsoon conditions will determine this year’s output. The darker green areas on this map indicate India’s districts with greater concentration of rice production.

    Since the monsoon’s impact can vary across the country, the Gro Climate Risk Navigator for Agriculture provides growing conditions at the state level, including this display showing West Bengal, India’s largest rice-growing state, and this one showing Odisha, another big rice-producing state.

    Rice planting in Thailand starts in May, the beginning of the rainy season. Thailand is currently seeing above average rains, which is necessary for planting, and soil moisture remains high.  Cumulative precipitation is the highest in at least 20 years, according to Gro's Climate Risk Navigator.

  • Pakistan Asks China to Enhance Rice Quota to 2 Million Tons

  • Pakistan has asked China to enhance the rice quota to two million tons. Sources told ProPakistani that Pakistan, during the tour of Prime Minister Imran Khan last month, asked China not only to support duty concessions but for quota enhancement in specific sectors including rice. Pakistan has exported rice worth $2.1 million to China in the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2021-22 whereas it exported rice worth $2.29 million to China in the same period the previous year. Sources said that Pakistan has also asked China to abolish the 4 percent duty on the export of cement. Pakistan can get the duty-free concession of exporting cement to China after 3 years under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA-II). Sources further said that this will help offset part of the trade deficit which has surged to $32 billion in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. They said that Pakistan has also asked China to expedite the process of mutual recognition agreements on agriculture and animal products. Apart from this, Pakistan has also asked the tariff liberalization to be done by 10 and 20 years from seven to 15 years under CPFTA-II respectively. Similarly, Pakistan has also asked China for an uninterrupted bilateral opening of the Khunjrab border for trade. Sources said that the Ministry of Commerce is waiting for the response of China on these proposals.  
  • China pledges to purchase more rice

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to increase the country’s imports of milled rice from Cambodia and indicated its willingness to purchase other agricultural products from the Kingdom after a free trade agreement (FTA) came into force. He made the commitment during a telephone conference on bilateral, regional and global issues with Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 18. Xi said that, alongside milled rice, China will import other agricultural products such as bananas, mangoes and longans to help alleviate poverty in Cambodia, and urged the Kingdom to offer more of such goods for export. “Cambodia needs to make better use of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP] agreement in the region, and the free trade agreement between China and Cambodia, to push bilateral trade to a new level. “The Chinese side will increase the import of high quality Cambodian agricultural products, and establish cooperation that benefits more people in Cambodia,” Xi said. Hun Sen noted in the conference that bilateral trade between the two countries has been growing rapidly and that major construction projects under the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative in Cambodia have been “running smoothly”. He said that such projects have “clearly demonstrated the achievements of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Cambodia and China”, adding that the building of a “common destiny” between the two countries has “made it clear” that they have developed strong ties. The prime minister added that Cambodia is pleased to use the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year as an opportunity to “bolster cooperation” in areas such as cultural exchange, economy, trade and agriculture. He said he anticipated that these exchanges would “serve to deepen and enhance the joint realisation of the Belt and Road Initiative, and raise the comprehensive strategic partnership between Cambodia and China to a new level”. Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) president Song Saran told The Post that China’s commitment will be an “important tool” in boosting Cambodia's milled rice exports to the Asian giant. “The rice federation is pleased and applauds the positive things that the two leaders have discussed over the phone concerning our rice sector, both now and in the past,” he said. “This shows the strong ties our Cambodian rice sector has to the economic sector at large.” The growth of milled rice exports from Cambodia to China in the first two months increased by more than 56 per cent compared to the same period in 2021, according to Saran. At just over 120,000 tonnes, so far, Cambodia has achieved more than 22 per cent of the 2022 export quota of 400,000 tonnes as stated in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the Chinese government. He said he expected that the MoU “will be achieved by December 2022”. Along with the high number of orders from the Chinese private sector, Saran said that “this [rate of export] indicates that the Chinese side is willing to promote our milled rice to the Chinese market, and that the Chinese people are more aware of the quality and quality standards of Cambodian milled rice”. According to figures from the Ministry of Commerce, the bilateral trade volume between Cambodia and China reached nearly $8 billion in 2021, up 38.36 per cent compared to 2020.
  • Kazakhstan eager to import rice

  • Will host trade summit exclusively for Pakistani companies in Almaty photo file ISLAMABAD: Kazakhstan is interested in importing rice directly from Pakistan, said the Central Asian republic Ambassador Yerzhan Kistafin. In a meeting with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Friday, the Kazakhstan envoy said that his country was buying the commodity from Russia. He pointed out that Kazakhstan was hosting a trade summit exclusively for Pakistan in Almaty in May 2022 to give Pakistani companies an opportunity to showcase their products before the Kazakh business community. “Over 60 Pakistani companies from various sectors of the economy will participate in the exhibition,” he said, adding that the firms specialising in agricultural machinery, agricultural products, sports goods, surgical instruments, handicrafts and confectionery would display their products. He expressed keen interest in enhancing bilateral ties with Pakistan and recalled that during the 10th session of Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Pakistan, both nations agreed to increase the turnover of agricultural products. The meeting took place in November 2021. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam emphasised that Pakistan was producing surplus rice and potato, which could be exported to Kazakhstan. “Pakistan looks forward to strengthening its relationship with Kazakhstan and taking it to the next level,” he remarked. “Although Pakistan’s trade with Kazakhstan is the highest among all Central Asian countries, it is still below the true potential.” Imam highlighted that Pakistan and Kazakhstan needed to take advantage of the opportunities at hand and ensure maximum cooperation. He was of the view that deepening bilateral cooperation could benefit both sides immensely. The two dignitaries discussed the memorandum of understanding signed between the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research on cooperation in the field of agriculture. Imam stressed the need for enhancing cooperation in livestock breeding and plant cultivation, trade in agricultural products, quarantine and plant protection, veterinary medicines and agricultural research. “Collaboration in scientific research can prove to be the cornerstone in trade relations between the two countries,” he said. “Pakistan’s food security faces a number of challenges but with the right policy interventions, the agriculture sector can be transformed.” Local agriculture has been depending on the traditional farming techniques but it is time that the country begins to look at the future and goes for modernisation, the minister said. Both sides agreed to hold an online meeting in April 2022 between the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to further enhance cooperation.
  • Asia rice: Vietnam prices hit 3-month peak on firm demand

  • BENGALURU/BANGKOK/HANOI/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Export prices of rice from Vietnam climbed to a three-and-a-half-month high this week on steady demand and elevated shipping costs, which dissuaded some traders from signing new contracts. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice were offered at $415-$420 per tonne on Thursday, compared with $410-$415 a week ago. “Demand is stable, but traders are hesitant to sign new contracts due to high shipping costs,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding outbound shipping costs have risen significantly since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia crisis. “We are hearing the Philippines may soon lift its limit on rice imports from Vietnam,” another trader said. Philippines, Vietnam’s largest rice buyer, in November took steps to temporarily limit imports of the grain from Vietnam amid a big harvest at home. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices fell slightly to $410-$428 per tonne from $415-$428 a week ago, their highest since late June. “The baht has weakened and domestic prices are seen easing in the coming weeks due to new supply,” one trader said. There is still strong demand for low-quality rice from domestic feed mills, which are looking to use more rice in their animal feed mix as prices of wheat and corn rally, traders said. However, foreign demand remained largely muted, except for exporting activities to Iraq, they said. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $371 to $378 per tonne, unchanged from the last week, as demand remained strong for broken grades for feed purposes. “Broken rice is in demand. Feed makers are replacing corn with 25% and 100% broken rice,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • VIETNAM TO EXEMPT IMPORT TAX ON 300,000 T CAMBODIAN RICE THIS YEAR

  • HANOI, March 8 (Reuters) - Vietnam will exempt import tax on 300,000 tonnes of rice from Cambodia this year, the government said in a statement on Tuesday. Though Vietnam is one of the world's largest rice exporters, Cambodian grains are also consumed in the country and used by some Vietnamese traders to meet their rice export contracts. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Martin Petty)
  • Vietnamese rice well-received in Europe

  • HÀ NỘI — The EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has opened up unprecedented opportunities for Vietnamese rice. Thanks to the preferential tariffs, the export of jasmine rice and high-quality rice to the EU has never been so good. Việt Nam Customs reported that the country's rice exports to the EU market have not yet recorded a sharp increase in volume, but the export price and value had increased significantly. Rice exports to the market reached 53,910 tonnes in the first 11 months of last year, worth US$38.07 million, up only 0.8 per cent year-on-year in volume but the value grew by 21.6 per cent. The Import-Export Department said this result showed that businesses had effectively taken advantage of the EVFTA to increase the value of rice exports to the EU, especially amid the pandemic, increasing sea freight rates and declining rice imports in the past year. Statistics from Eurostat showed that the EU rice imports fell by 10.9 per cent in volume in the first nine months of last year and 9.3 per cent in value. However, among the 10 major foreign rice suppliers to the EU in the nine months, the Vietnamese rice export price to the EU achieved the strongest growth, up 20.3 per cent, reaching an average of $781 per tonne. Therefore, although the country's rice exports to the EU dropped, the export turnover still rose by 13.2 per cent. With 27 member countries, a population of about 516 million people, and a GDP per capita of more than $35,000 per year, the EU market needs to import a large number of goods, especially agricultural produce. For Việt Nam, this is the third-largest export market of agricultural products, with a turnover of about $5.5 billion per year. But Vietnamese agricultural produce only accounts for 4 per cent of the EU's import market share, and rice accounts for just over 1 per cent of the market share. The Việt Nam Food Association (VFA) forecast the country's rice exports to the EU to increase significantly this year. In particular, the quality of Vietnamese rice has improved, mainly jasmine rice varieties, hitting the tastes of European consumers, said VFA. Taking advantage of the EVFTA to export jasmine rice with 0 per cent tax was in the hands of enterprises with large raw material areas and cultivated in high standards such as Lộc Trời, Tân Long and Trung An. In the last days of last year, amid the chaos and difficulties caused by the pandemic, Lộc Trời Group (LTG) completed its export of one final batch of rice to Europe, including 4,170 tonnes of jasmine and white rice. It was also the first batch shipped in the form of the bulk carrier to save transport costs amid the pandemic. For the whole year, LTG has exported more than 80,000 tonnes of rice to the EU, the UK, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and neighbouring countries in Asia, earning over VNĐ1 trillion ($43.47 million), or nearly 24 per cent of the group's total revenue. Nguyễn Duy Thuận, general director of the group, said that with an order of more than 4,000 tonnes just exported to the EU, the group believed that there would be more rice and agricultural produce produced in a greener and more sustainable direction to meet the strict requirements of the import market. Lộc Trời was also the first enterprise to export an order of 126 tonnes of jasmine rice to the EU under the EVFTA, right after the agreement took effect. The group's rice exports accounted for nearly 70 per cent of Việt Nam's total rice exports to the EU last year. Meanwhile, Trung An High-Tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company has also taken advantage of the EVFTA to export thousands of tonnes of rice to Switzerland, France and Germany. Phạm Thái Bình, general director of the company, said that the EVFTA continued to bring greater opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products, including rice. — VNS
  • EU Commission confirms expected resumption of tariff-free Myanmar, Cambodian rice imports

  • The EU Commission's Directorate General for Trade has confirmed to S&P Global Platts expectations that the EU's import tariffs on Myanmar and Cambodian long grain white rice will revert to zero from Jan. 18.
    Both countries benefit from their place within the EU's Everything but Arms initiative, which allows Least Developed Countries to export to the bloc tariff-free. However, tariffs were brought in three years ago as a temporary measure to help protect EU farmers from competitively priced long grain rice. Medium grain, short grain and broken rice -- in addition to brown long grain -- imports from these countries were unaffected. The tariffs led to a substantial shift in the flow of rice to Europe. Cambodian Fragrant rice faced much more competition in the continent from Thai Fragrant rice and many EU buyers switched to buying the Myanmar medium grain variety, Kayinma, instead of the regular Emata long grain variety. While Cambodia's government challenged the tariffs in the courts, there was also pressure on the EU side to go further and extend the tariffs to other rice products from both countries and to make the temporary tariff changes permanent or at least extend them. However, in a statement from DG Trade, a spokesperson confirmed to Platts that "the rice tariffs for Cambodia and Myanmar will return to zero at the expiry date (18/01/2022)." The EU's import tariffs on Myanmar and Cambodian rice during this period were Eur175/mt ($198/mt) in the first year, Eur150/mt ($170/mt) in the second year and Eur125/mt ($142/mt) in the third year.