PH to remain world’s top rice importer

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PH remains world’s top rice importer
  • The Philippines will remain the world’s top rice importer next year, the US Department of Agriculture predicts
  • The country is seen to import 4.2 million metric tons of rice in 2025 from 4.1 million mt this year
  • Vietnam is expected to be the Philippines’ main source of the staple
  • India is seen to remain the world’s top exporter of the commodity at 18 million mt
  • India’s high exports are seen to partially offset declines from other top exporters like Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, and Myanmar

The Philippines will remain the world’s top importer of rice next year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Shipments are expected to hit 4.2 million metric tons (mt) in 2025 vis-a-vis 4.1 million mt this year. The rice import forecast for this year was bumped up from the initial projection of 3.9 million MT due to stronger buying from Vietnam.

If the projection comes through, this would be the third consecutive year the country would top the global rice importers’ list, based on USDA data.

The USDA projects that the Philippines would have a total rice consumption and requirement of 17.1 million MT next year, up 3% from this year’s 16.6 million MT estimate. The Philippines would remain as the world’s sixth largest rice consumer.

Total rice consumption next year is seen at 526.401 million MT with global consumption seen growing to a “new record, primarily from strong growth in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.”

A report from the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service said the expected volume of imports would be attained due to population growth and the rise in tourism.

Vietnam is expected to be the Philippines’ main source of the staple this year.

Another source of rice imports is India, which is seen to remain the world’s top exporter of the commodity at 18 million mt.

This, despite trade restrictions, notably on the type of rice preferred by Indians.

India accounts for roughly one-third of total global rice exports.

According to the USDA, ”Exports are expected to increase, driven by a larger crop and ample stocks. Despite trade-restrictive measures for a portion of rice exports, volumes are set to remain robust.”

India’s high exports this year are seen to partially offset declines from other top exporters like Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, and Myanmar.

Countries which are also expected to have substantial imports this year include Indonesia, China, and the European Union.

The Philippines’ previous record for rice imports was the 3.82 million mt in 2022.

The country’s problems of its main staple are compounded by a likely larger shortfall in local harvest this year.

READ: PH to remain as top rice importer in 2024