Rice imports as of Sept rose 7.6% to 3M MT
The Philippines has imported nearly three million metric tons of rice as of September, according to data from the Bureau of Plant Industry, 7.6 percent more than the 2.8 million MT brought in for the whole of 2021.
Vietnam was the main source, accounting for 82.5 percent of the total at 2.5 million MT, breaching last year’s full-year import volume of 2.4 million MT.
Myanmar came second with 203,879.280 MT, also higher than the 196,718.900 MT recorded last year.
Thailand followed with 150,416.375 MT, also an increase from the 2021 volume of 131,256.500 MT.
At present, imported rice is subject to the most favored nation (MFN) tariff rate of 35 percent both for in-quota and out-quota imports until Dec. 31. By January next year, the tariff will increase to 40 percent for in-quota and 50 percent for out-quota.
This is by virtue of Executive Order No. 171 signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in May.
Earlier, the US Department of Agriculture said the country was expected to continue importing rice to make up for the shortfall in local output as farmers have been unable to purchase all of the fertilizer that they need to ramp up their farms’ output because of the steep prices.
Meanwhile, domestic rice output for the comparative period was pegged at 11.98 million metric tons from 12.41 million MT previously due to the combined effects of rising fertilizer costs resulting in significantly reduced application and the severe impact of Super Typhoon Karding.
Urea as of Sept. 26 to 30 was selling at P2,523.08 per 50-kilo bag, surging by 64.7 percent from P1,531.78 per 50-kilo bag around the same period a year ago, according to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority.
Further, Karding’s impact on the rice sector was equivalent to P2.05 billion, with the volume of production loss hitting 134,205 MT, the Department of Agriculture reported last Oct. 3.
The Philippines is aiming for a rice production of 20.25 million MT which, if met, would breach last year’s record high of 19.96 million MT.
The USDA hiked its import forecast for the Philippines to 3.4 million MT from 3.3 million MT for market year 2022-2023 which began in July this year.
“Rice is a highly political crop in the Philippines, and supply sufficiency is very important for the government. Lower income consumers can subsist even on rice with minimal viands (simple side dishes or minimal flavorings that accompany rice),” the USDA had said.
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