The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) projected an increase of 100,00 metric tons (MT) of rice to be imported by the Philippines.
In a report released on Friday, the USDA increased its estimates for Philippine rice imports in 2024 to 3.9 million MT, higher than the 3.8 million MT forecast last January.
On January 21, the agency said that the Philippines would be the world’s top rice importer in 2024, overtaking China.
The USDA also said that there would be a higher rice supply and consumption for the world this year.
The world’s rice consumption, according to USDA, is estimated to have a 0.8 million MT increase with a total of 522.9 million MT due to “the increases of Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.”
World rice supply is also estimated to have a 0.7 million MT rise totaling 690.1 million MT due to “higher beginning stocks” of Vietnam and Indonesia and the upscaled production of Sri Lanka as it recovered from its two years of lower output.
“World ending stocks,” however, declined by 0.1 million MT contracting with a total of 167.2 million MT.
In December last year, the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA) said the country would receive approximately 500,000 MT of imported rice this month.
As of January 11, the DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry said that 56,090 MT of imported rice have arrived in the country.
The initiative aims to strengthen the local inventory amid the dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon, which government economic agencies previously said may threaten the country’s food supply.
On Tuesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country’s rice inflation skyrocketed to 22.6%, the highest since March 2009 with 22.9%.
Philstar.com reached out to the DA for a comment on the recent forecast of the USDA, but they have yet to respond.