PH rice imports hit 1.3M tons as of early May | Inquirer Business
Lower than May 2022 levels

PH rice imports hit 1.3M tons as of early May

MANILA  -The Philippines’ rice imports breached the million-metric ton (MT) mark as of early May, data from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) showed.

The country’s rice imports as of May 4 hit 1.3 million MT, down by 12.7 percent from 1.5 million MT recorded by the agency in May last year.

In the first week of May, alone, rice imports amounted to 34,050 MT, a decline of 89.2 percent from  316,604.35 MT a year ago.


Vietnam, the Philippines’ leading source of rice imports, supplied 1.2 million MT or almost 90 percent of the total.  Myanmar came second with 70,165 MT.


The Philippines likewise purchased rice from Thailand, Pakistan, India, China and Japan.

The most favored nation (MFN) tariff rate for rice remains at 35 percent for both in-quota and out-quota imports until end-December this year.

Beginning January 2024, the MFN for rice will revert to 40 percent for in-quota and 50 percent for out-quota.

To recall, in December last year, President Marcos signed Executive Order No. 10 extending the validity of reduced tariff rates on various agricultural products to maintain affordable prices,  ensure food security and help augment the supply of food items, among others.

The US Department of Agriculture had projected the Philippines’ rice imports to reach 3.6 million MT for marketing year 2023-2024 beginning July this year.

Also, the USDA projected the country’s rice production to hit 12.55 million MT in the same period as farmers are seen to increase their utilization of fertilizers on account of greater government support.


The Department of Agriculture said the local rice supply would remain stable amid growing concerns over rice shortage and price increases due to the El Niño phenomenon.

Last month, the agency said the ending stock of palay stood at about 5.66 million MT in the first quarter of 2023, which is  good for 51 days of consumption.

“We should be able to meet the country’s rice supply needs, which is 37,000 metric tons a day,” Agriculture Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez said earlier.

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The National Food Authority wanted to import 330,000 MT of rice but decided to procure locally instead. INQ

TAGS: Department of Agriculture, El Niño, projections, rice imports, rice supply, USDA

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