Philippines to drive global rice consumption – USDA

MANILA, Philippines — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has identified the Philippines as a key contributor to the anticipated rise in global rice consumption next year.

In a report, the USDA said it forecasts global rice consumption to increase in marketing year 2023-2024 to 523.772 million metric tons from the previous forecast of 523.022 million MT.

“Global consumption is up with increases for India and the Philippines. Imports are forecast higher, mainly for Kenya and the Philippines,” it said.

According to the latest forecast by the USDA, rice consumption in the Philippines is expected to increase to 16.5 million MT for the 2023-2024 period, surpassing the previous projection of 16.3 million MT. This consumption estimate exceeds the anticipated local rice production of 12.6 million MT.

To address the shortfall, the USDA has raised its projection for Philippine rice imports to 3.8 million MT next year from 3.6 million MT.

Philippine rice imports are significantly higher than that of Kenya’s, which are seen to reach 800,000 MT – from the USDA’s previous forecast of 625,000 MT – as “consumption growth far outstrips production.”

Moreover, the Philippines is the next biggest importer of rice next to China, which is projected to import five million MT during the period.

For the 2022-2023 marketing year, the USDA sees lower global consumption, led by lower demand in Kenya and the Philippines, which partially offset lower consumption in Iran.

Despite lower estimated imports by China and Iran, the USDA still projects higher demand from Iraq, Kenya and the Philippines. These countries’ increased imports help offset the overall decline in import volumes.

The Philippines is seen to import 3.9 million MT of rice for the 2022-2023 marketing year, up 200,000 MT from its previous 3.7 million MT projection.

The increase is hinged on the “higher-than-anticipated imports of Vietnam rice,” the USDA said.