Philippines to import more rice next year

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is expected to further boost its rice imports next year to 2.2 million metric tons (MT) mainly due to improving economic conditions, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In its latest grain and feed update, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said it is revising upward its rice imports forecast for 2022 by 100,000 MT.

The USDA said the revised forecast was also driven by the upturn in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC) issuances.

Data from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) showed that the 885 SPSICs were issued in July and August, representing 642,811 MT.  This was a significant increase from 379 SPSICs and 273,643 MT during the same period in 2020.

In contrast, the USDA lowered its rice imports forecast for the year by 100,000 MT to two million MT based on final year trade data reported by exporting countries.

Based on its latest Rice Supply Outlook, the Department of Agriculture (DA) expects rice imports to reach 2.085 million MT this year.

Data from the DA showed that a total of 1.296 million MT of rice were imported into the country in the first half, 608,000 MT in the first quarter and 688,000 MT in the second quarter.

The 631,000 MT and 158,000 MT are expected to be imported in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

The USDA earlier said the government’s move to lower tariffs on rice imports was unlikely to impact suppliers in the Western Hemisphere due to higher transportation costs.

“The new policy on MFN tariffs is likely to have less impact on Western Hemisphere suppliers than other non-ASEAN exporters in Asia,” the USDA said.