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PHL rice imports seen at 3.8 MMT in 2025 — FAO

PHILIPPINE rice imports are expected to hit 3.8 million metric tons (MMT) amid increasing consumption, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

In a report, the FAO said that next year’s projection is 8.5% higher than the 3.5 MMT estimate for 2024.

The United Nations agency projects Philippine consumption at 17.5 MMT, up 1.4%.

The Department of Agriculture’s own projection is 3.9 MMT this year.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed Executive Order No. 62, which reduced rice tariffs to 15% until 2028, in order to bring down prices. The new tariff regime is subject to review every four months.

As of June 20, the Philippines had imported 2.28 MMT, according to the Bureau of Plant Industry.

Domestic production next year was estimated at 13.7 MMT in milled rice equivalent, up from the FAO’s prior projection of 13.3 MMT.

The Philippines produced 20.06 MMT of unmilled rice last year, equivalent to about 13 MMT in milled rice.

The FAO is also projecting rice imports of 5.1 MMT by 2033, citing the steady increase in consumption.

It said that the Philippines is expected to account for 8% of global rice imports by 2033.

Philippine rice consumption in 2033 is projected at 19.9 million MT, according to the FAO, equivalent to about 3% of global consumption.

“Total world rice consumption is expected to increase 0.9% per annum, at a same pace as during the last decade, with Asian countries accounting for 66% of the projected increase, largely due to population rather than per capita consumption growth,” the FAO said.

The FAO estimated Philippine domestic production at 14.8 million MT in milled equivalent.

It added that the top five rice exporters — the European Union, Australia, Russia, Canada and Argentina — are projected to account for 80% of global trade by 2033. — Adrian H. Halili