The country’s rice imports likely declined this year, but the Philippines is still seen to tie with China as the world’s biggest rice importers.
According to the latest report of the United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service, Philippine rice imports likely reached 2.3 million metric tons, down 21 percent from 2.9 million metric tons in 2019.
This has been lowered from the earlier forecast of 2.5 million metric tons.
The USDA said, “There is reduced demand from the Philippines as the government has not been issuing additional import permits this year. Private sector imports have been stymied in recent months as the government stopped issuing new import permits due to unrest in the farm sector.”
Last September, the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture appealed to rice importers to manage and temporarily halt their import application to give way to harvest season and not worsen the drop in palay prices.