According to the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), the Philippines has imported 2.49 million metric tons (MT) of rice as of Sept. 21, which is 18.1% lower compared to the same period last year. Analysts observed that the import volume decreased towards the end of the period due to the start of the local harvest season.
According to the BPI, rice imports for the month of September decreased by 32.2% compared to the same period last year, with a total of 178,164.12 metric tons imported as of September 21.
Rice exports dropped by 43% in August compared to the previous month.
During the specified timeframe, the decline in imports can be attributed to the start of the local rice harvest, which contributed to the existing supply, according to Michael L. Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.
According to a message sent through Viber, Mr. Ricafort stated that the government’s focus is on buying unmilled rice from farmers.
There were imports recorded in September.
Mr. Briones stated in a Viber message that once the price decreases, imports will resume their expected level.
According to Mr. Ricafort, limitations imposed by countries exporting rice caused a decrease in shipments to the Philippines.
India and Vietnam have declared intentions to decrease rice exports in order to strengthen domestic supply.
In July, India made a sudden decision to prohibit the export of non-basmati white rice in order to prioritize its domestic supply of the commodity.
Vietnam has declared their intentions to decrease rice exports to a yearly total of four million tons by 2030.
As of the current year, Vietnam continued to be the primary supplier of rice for the Philippines, delivering 2.24 million metric tons which accounts for 89.96% of the country’s imports during this time.
In total, Thailand and Myanmar exported 116,106.17 metric tons and 95,847 metric tons, respectively.
Over the course of the year, 13,493.39 metric tons of rice were imported from India, accounting for 0.6% of the overall total.
In addition, Leocadio S. Sebastian, the Agriculture Undersecretary for Rice Industry Development, provided a separate calculation for the amount of rice shipments so far this year, which amounts to approximately 2.6 million metric tons.
Mr. Sebastian stated in a Viber message that there has been a 14% decrease compared to the same time period last year (January to September). He anticipates that there will be an increase in rice imports during the upcoming months (October to December).
He stated that by September 28th, approximately 271,224 metric tons of rice had been delivered for the month.
According to Mr. Sebastian, rice imports are projected to reach 3.1 million MT this year, which would result in a decrease of almost 20% compared to last year.
The Department of Agriculture in the United States has stated that the Philippines may import 3.5 million metric tons of rice during the market year of 2023 to 2024. This is lower than their previous estimate of 3.8 million metric tons.
Mr. Sebastian stated that the goal of the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program implemented by the government is to gradually decrease our reliance on imports and increase our self-sufficiency in rice.