Thu. Apr 25th, 2024
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    The Philippines has become the world’s largest rice importer for the marketing year 2023-2024, surpassing China, which has reduced its rice imports due to higher domestic production and lower consumption. This is according to the latest report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    The USDA projected that the Philippines will import 3.8 million metric tons of rice for the marketing year 2023-2024, while China will import 3.5 million metric tons. The Philippines’ rice imports have increased due to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, which has caused droughts and crop failures in some parts of the country.

    The Philippine government has been seeking to augment its rice supply by importing from other countries, especially Vietnam, which is one of the world’s largest rice exporters. The two governments are expected to sign a pact on rice trade soon.

    However, some sectors have criticized the Philippine government’s reliance on rice imports, saying that it undermines the local rice industry and makes the country more vulnerable to price fluctuations and food insecurity. They have also questioned the quality and safety of imported rice, which may contain harmful chemicals or pests.

    The USDA report also noted that global rice production is expected to decline until 2024, due to unfavorable weather conditions and lower planting area in some major rice-producing countries. Global rice prices have also increased due to stronger demand and lower supply, especially after India announced its export ban in July 2023.

    The USDA said that the current situation is not yet as severe as the 2008 rice crisis, when several countries imposed export restrictions and drove up the price of rice to record levels. The agency attributed this to Vietnam’s continued exports and India’s exceptions to the ban for parboiled rice and small government-to-government trade.

    By balita.news

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