Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Philippines may see a record level of rice imports

Philippines may see a record level of rice imports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Workers unload 10,800 tons of rice from Vietnam — one of the world’s biggest producers of the grain and main source of Philippine rice imports. AFP

Philippines may see a record level of rice imports

THE Philippines may see the biggest volume of rice imports this year at four million tonnes following the passage of the rice import liberalisation bill.

National Food Authority (NFA) acting administrator Tomas Escarez on Monday said the agency had already received more than 200 applications from prospective traders and importers.

The overall volume from these applications is seen to reach two million tonnes, 20 per cent of which has already arrived in the country.

In addition, listed AgriNurture Inc (ANI) president and CEO Antonio Tiu confirmed to the Inquirer that its deal with Vinafood II, Vietnam’s largest grains exporter, would still push through this year.

The exporter agreed to exclusively supply ANI annually with two million tonnes of long grain rice valued close to $1 billion.

In a text message, Tiu said the company was only waiting for the law’s implementing rules and regulations before it would submit an application. It plans to directly sell the staple to the market.

Under the recently signed Rice Import Liberalization Act, importers need to secure only a permit from the Bureau of Plant Industry and pay a 35 and 50 per cent tariff for imports from Southeast Asian countries and non-Asean countries, respectively.

If the imports push through, the total volume will surpass the highest recorded rice imports in the country during the Arroyo administration at 2.34 million tonnes.

Unlike in Vietnam and Thailand where farmers can produce a kilo of rice at six pesos ($0.11), Filipino farmers spend 12 pesos a kg.

Reports from the Philippine Advisory Farmers Board showed the farm-gate price of paddy rice has already declined to 14 pesos per kg in some rice-producing provinces. Meanwhile, in the country’s rice granaries, the recorded farm-gate price for paddy rice was at 18-19 pesos per kg.

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s price monitoring report, the average farm-gate price of paddy rice as of the first week of February was at 19.70 pesos per kg. This was the fifth consecutive week of a price downtrend.

However, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said on his Facebook page that the falling price of paddy rice was not due to the recently enacted law but due to “speculation fuelled by the anticipated ’flooding’ of the market with cheap imported rice”. PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ANN

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway