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April 2024

Rice imports up 44.28% as of mid-Feb

THE Philippines recorded higher rice imports during the earlier months of 2024, data from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) showed.

From January to February 16, inbound rice shipments totaled 569,286.08 metric tons (MT), higher by 44.28 percent from 394,553.666 MT recorded in the same period last year.

As of mid-February, rice shipments totaled 144,650.65 MT, lower by 65.9 percent from January’s import level of 424,635.43 MT.

Since the year started, the BPI has released a total of 373 sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances to accredited importers.

Vietnam remains as the country’s top source of rice, having imported 327,418.09 of the staple or 57.5 percent.

Thailand also delivered some 154,234.38 MT, Pakistan followed with 60,638.30 MT and 24,440 MT from Myanmar.

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

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

During a public briefing in Malacañang last week, Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Roger Navarro said that the Philippines should import a minimum of 330,000 MT of rice per month to fill in the average consumption of 37 MT per day. This is equivalent to around 2.6 to 2.8 million MT of rice imports.

With the current import volume, Navarro assured the public that rice supply remains sufficient, especially with the upcoming lean season and risks of the El Niño weather pattern.

However, he said that rice prices remain elevated due to the situation in the international market and expensive input prices.

Based on the price monitoring report of the DA as of February 21, prices of local well-milled rice range between P45 and P58 per kilo while regular milled rice is sold for P50 per kilo.

Meanwhile, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the average farmgate price of palay (unmilled rice) increased by 9.6 percent in the first month of 2024.

The PSA said that palay prices averaged P25.08 per kilo in January, higher than P22.89 per kilo posted in December 2023.

On a yearly basis, average price of palay increased by 41.4 percent in comparison to P17.74 per kilo logged in January of the previous year.

Among the regions, the highest price of palay was recorded in the Ilocos Region at P28.97 a kilo. Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley followed with an average price of P27.87 per kilo and P27.84 per kilo of palay, respectively.

The Eastern Visayas, meanwhile, logged the lowest average price of dry palay at P19.31 per kilo during the month.

For the whole 2023, the average price of palay stood at P19.88 per kilo, much higher than the P17.44 per kilo average recorded in 2022. QR Code

Published Date: February 22, 2024

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