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USDA Projects Philippines to Maintain Position as Global Leader in Rice Import


Published Date: January 31, 2024
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According to a report from the USDA's Economic Research Service on January 17, the Philippines is anticipated to boost its rice procurement this year, becoming the leading global rice importer with a projected 3.8 million tons in 2024. Following the Philippines are China, Indonesia, the European Union, Nigeria, and Iraq. Rice imports are also expected to rise in several other countries, including Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Ethiopia, Iran, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mexico, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yemen. Despite this increase, the report notes a global decline in rice trade volume to 52.2 million metric tons from 52.4 million MT in 2023. The USDA attributes this volume decline to India's export bans on white rice in 2022 and 2023.

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Philippines Imports Surge as Major Suppliers Prepare to Boost Production

According to the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Plant Industry, the country’s total imported rice in 2023 was 3.567 million MT, which mostly came from Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan. The said countries where most of the Philippines’ imported rice came from are also expected to increase their rice production this year, according to USDA’s recent report.The DA also announced in December, that approximately 500,000 MT of imported rice are expected to arrive by February.  This initiative aims to strengthen the local inventory amid the dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon, which government economic agencies previously said may threaten the country’s food supply.  

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