Philippines imports 3.37 MMT of rice in November

MANILA, Philippines — The country has imported 3.37 million metric tons (MT) of rice in November, 34.14 percent more than the 2.51 million MT brought in in the same period  last year.

Latest data from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) showed that the  figure is  21.43 percent higher than the 2.77 million MT  that arrived for the whole of 2021.

For this year, the highest monthly volume was  recorded in August at 433,454 MT.

In terms of sources, data showed the country imported rice from China, India, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam.

Vietnam was still the country’s top supplier, cornering 83.4 percent of the total volume at 2.81 million MT, 18 percent higher than the 2.36 million MT imported as of end last year.

Myanmar came in second with 215,918.18 MT and Thailand with 166,501.37 MT.

Data also showed that the top importer of rice was NAN STU Agri Traders, which shipped 189,210.35 MT. It was followed by Manus Dei Resources Ent. Inc., with 152,751.28 MT and Lucky Buy and Sell, with 144,851 MT.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects the country to import more rice until mid-next year due to lower projected production amid the high cost of fertilizers and the devastating impact of Super Typhoon Karding in Luzon late last month.

The USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) forecasted the country to import 3.4 million MT of rice, higher than its previous projection of 3.3 million MT.

Super Typhoon Karding made a landfall last Sept. 25 and destroyed rice crops ready for harvest in Central Luzon, particularly in Nueva Ecija, which is considered the country’s rice granary.

Meanwhile, soaring fertilizer prices continued to force farmers to significantly reduce application, thereby lowering yields by three percent.

This led the USDA to lower its projection on the country’s milled rice production from 12.411 million MT to 11.975 million MT in the July 2022 to June 2023 period.

According to the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority, fertilizer prices have increased significantly, although urea prices have tapered off a bit since May.