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Rice imports up 24% as of end-March

THE volume of rice imported by the country rose by 24.2 percent to 995,841.6 metric tons (MT) in the first three months of this year, according to the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

In the first quarter of last year, the country imported 801,732 MT of rice, according to the BPI.

For March alone, rice shipments reached 227,675.13 MT, lower by 33 percent from February’s 340,180.69 MT. Rice imports in March declined by 44 percent from the 407,178.36 MT of the same month last year.

Since the year started, the BPI has released 1,403 sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances to accredited rice importers.

The bulk or 57.8 percent of the country’s imported rice came from Vietnam, which remains the country’s top source of the staple, shipping in 576,364.3 MT.

Thailand followed with a volume of rice deliveries at 244,059.43 MT, Pakistan with 115,758.50 MT and Myanmar with 53,640 MT.

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

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.

In its latest World Markets and Trade report, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that the Philippines remains the top importer of the staple in the international market and forecast to import 4.1 million MT this 2024.

However, the USDA said that the Philippines’ local rice production is seen to hit 12.125 million MT this year, or slightly higher than the previous forecast of 12 million MT.

The USDA attributed the increase in production to the government’s additional funding for the sector and with farmers increasing their use of fertilizer and hybrid seeds.

Area to be harvested, meanwhile, is expected to remain the same at 4.8 million hectares. In terms of consumption, the USDA forecasts rice consumption to increase to 19.6 million MT for marketing year 2024-2025 in line with Philippine population growth.

Rice prices, meanwhile, will remain elevated due to the El Niño weather pattern and the global market situation, said the USDA.

Based on the price monitoring report of the Agriculture department as of April 2, prices of imported well-milled rice range between P50 and P54 per kilo (kg) while locally milled rice is selling from P48 to P55 per kg.

https://www.manilatimes.net/2024/04/03/business/top-business/rice-imports-up-24-as-of-end-march/1939630 QR Code

Published Date: April 2, 2024

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