PH overtakes China as world’s biggest rice importer

0
422
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay
  • The Philippines will overtake China as biggest rice importer for marketing year 2023 to 2024
  • For that period, the Philippines is seen importing 3.8 million metric tons against China’s 3.5 million tons, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture
  • The USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service said the Philippines is also delaying rice purchases as it awaits lower prices

The Philippines is expected to overtake China as the world’s leading rice importer for marketing year 2023-2024, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

For that period, the Philippines is seen importing 3.8 million metric tons against China’s 3.5 million tons.

The 2023-2024 Philippine forecast is slightly lower than the 3.9 million mt expected for marketing year 2022 to 2023, according to the latest monthly “Grain: World Markets and Trade” report by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

In terms of milled rice, the Philippines is projected to import 12.631 million mt for 2022-2023 and 12.6 million mt for 2023-2024, lower than China’s 148.990 million mt and 149 million mt, respectively.

The report said the Philippines is however, delaying its purchase of the commodity as it waits for prices to come down.

Rice export prices, according to the report, are the highest in 15 years as India the world’s leading rice exporter, imposed an export ban on milled rice from July, and an export tax on parboiled rice and minimum export price for basmati in August. This has led to global importers shifting to the next largest suppliers, Thailand and Vietnam, sending their export quotes surging to the highest levels since 2008.

“In 2008, top importer the Philippines continuously bought larger volumes as prices escalated; this year, it is delaying purchases, awaiting lower prices,” the report published on September 12 said, adding that prices have started to decline from their peaks in the past week.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on August 31 signed Executive Order No. 39, mandating the imposition of price ceilings on rice to arrest the surge in rice prices. As part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of price controls on rice farmers and retailers and address the surge in rice prices, the Department of Finance is proposing the temporary reduction of tariff on rice imports to 0-10% from the current 35%.

RELATED READ: DOF seeks cut in rice tariff, exemption of trucks from higher toll fees

For 2022-2023, the USDA FAS report said global rice production is up slightly with a larger crop in Thailand. Global consumption is also up, significantly with India more than offsetting consumption reductions in Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

For the same period, exports are down following the ban on India’s non-basmati white milled rice and Myanmar’s sluggish export pace. Imports are expected to be down, too, due to less demand from China and Burkina Faso.

For 2023-2024, the report said global rice production is seen lower, with smaller crops in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Reduced consumption for Bangladesh and Vietnam will be a drag on global consumption, expected to be less for 2022-2023. Imports are seen slipping primarily for China, Ghana and Nigeria and exports lower with reductions for India and Myanmar.