• The Philippines is seen to import more rice than earlier expected this year—remaining as the biggest rice buyer in the global market—amid a likely larger shortfall in local harvest.
  • This is according to the Foreign Agricultural Service of US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which estimated that the country would import 4.1 million metric tons (MT) of rice this year, up by 200,000 MT or 5.1 percent from the previous estimate of 3.9 million MT in February due to “smaller crop” from local farms.
  • If reached, this would be nearly 14 percent more than the 3.6 million MT of rice that entered the archipelago in 2023.
  • The latest forecast is aligned with the report of the USDA unit that global rice imports would rise to 53.3 million MT from 52.38 million MT mainly due to higher demand from Indonesia and the Philippines.