THE state’s rice price ceiling and elevated world grain prices will curb the Philippines’s rice imports next year to 3.5 million metric tons (MMT), according to an international report.
The United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) in Manila projected that the Philippines’s rice imports next year would be 400,000 MT lower than its estimated 3.9 MMT full-year import volume this year.
The USDA-FAS in Manila attributed the decline to the “high international prices and uncertainty over the imposition of the retail price ceiling.”
The USDA-FAS in Manila’s rice import projection for the Philippines next year is 300,000 MT lower than the USDA’s (Washington office) official estimate of 3.8 MMT.
“Rice importers are adopting a wait-and-see attitude, with some importers canceling their purchases in the days after the ceiling was announced, according to industry contacts,” the USDA-FAS Manila said in its latest Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain) report published recently.
“Following the imposition of the price ceilings, industry contacts reported diminished interest among rice importers to import,” it added.
The Gain report indicated that the USDA-FAS Manila projected that the country’s milled rice output next year would be at 12.55 MMT from this year’s 12.6 MMT due to typhoon damages.
“Industry contacts’ expectations for the 2023 El Niño are mixed but balanced across the country, so overall effects on production are likely minimal,” it said.
The USDA-FAS Manila projected that the Philippines’s total rice consumption next year would be at 16.4 MMT, flat with this year’s estimates.
Meanwhile, the USDA-FAS Manila projected that the Philippines’s corn production in the current market year 2023-2024 would decline to 8.2 MMT from the previous market year’s 8.322 MMT because of typhoons and pest damage.
The country’s corn market year starts from July of the present year and ends in June of the next year.
“FAS Manila decreases forecasts of local corn production for MY 2023/24 because of the effects of typhoons Dodong, Egay, and Falcon and the continued presence of fall armyworm,” the Gain report read.
“The situation is particularly severe in Ilagan, Isabela, the corn capital of the Philippines, and surrounding areas,” it added.
Because of the foreseen reduction in corn production, the USDA-FAS in Manila expects the country’s corn imports to reach 1 MMT in the current market year from previous market year’s 950,000 MT.
Image credits: Sinag