Rice imports reach 56,090 metric tons in January

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Rice imports reach 56,090 metric tons in January
Workers unload sacks of rice from a delivery truck along Dagupan Street in Tondo, Manila on January 22, 2024.
Ernie Penaredondo / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — At least 56,090 metric tons (MT) of imported rice have arrived in the country as of Jan. 11, the Bureau of Plant Industry reported.

Based on the agency’s data, the bulk of the rice imports or 34 percent came from Vietnam with a total of 36,911 MT.

Other sources of the grain imports for the first 11 days of the month include Thailand with 16,351 MT, Myanmar with 1,040 MT, Pakistan with 898 MT and Japan with 892 MT.

For his part, farmers’ group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura executive director Jayson Cainglet said he expects lower rice imports for 2024 amid the projection of the US Department of Agriculture that the Philippines’ total rice imports could reach 3.8 million metric tons.

“Actual import arrival (in 2023) was at 3.5 million MT, validating our position and of the DA (Department of Agriculture), of a much lower volume of rice imports,” Cainglet said.

He added that the government could determine the volume of rice to be imported for the entire year in April.

“By then we’ll see the actual impact of El Niño on our current standing palay crops,” he said.

According to Cainglet, speculations caused the spike in the global rice prices, which is now pegged above $600 per MT.  

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