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Philippine rice imports double in February

April 28 ------ The amount of rice brought into the country reached 322,770 metric tons in February this year, higher by 109 percent compared to last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said. 


Based on the PSA report, the value of rice brought into the country reached $160.09 million during the month. Asian countries led the top suppliers of rice to the country with Vietnam contributing the largest share with 51 percent or a total of $81.70 million in rice import value. It is followed by Thailand with 25.7 percent or $41.21 million, Pakistan with 16 percent or 25.55 million, and Myanmar contributing 11.58 percent or $11.58 million to the country’s rice imports. Meanwhile, the average world price of rice stood at $0.61 per kilo (P35.32), while its derived unit value remained at $0.50 (P28.95). 


On the other hand, the country’s total import value during the month improved to $9.55 billion, translating to an increase of 6.3 percent from the $8.98 billion in February last year. Export values also improved in February to $5.91 billion, a substantial 16 percent surge from the $5.1 billion recorded in the previous year. This figure brings the total trade deficit, or the difference between export and import values, to $3.65 billion, a six percent reduction compared to the $3.88 billion gap in the month of 2023. 


The Philippines is expected to import more rice this year as it is seen to bring home 3.9 million metric tons, surpassing the previous estimate of 3.8 million metric tons, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Philippines is the world's top importer of rice, sharing 25.7 percent of the global import requirements in 2024. It is also expected to surpass China, the world's second most populous nation, in rice imports, with its expected import of only 2.3 million metric tons. 


The Marcos administration had been strengthening its efforts to counter the effects of the El Niño phenomenon on rice production and the Filipinos' purchasing power such as importing rice. The growth in the prices of rice has been moving at a quicker pace since December last year, reaching 24.4 percent from 23.7 percent last month — almost beating the comparable high record of 24.6 percent readout in February 2009. 





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