Developing Countries Will Lead Global Rice Import Growth in 2013-22, Says USDA Rice growers positive California MG prices are UP Russia MG Harvest coming to end Egypt open rice exports Vietnam’s rice export in tough competition with India Thai rice exports in May Rise Above Target This Year Viet-Nam Rice exports likely to fall this year
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Tight supply may jack up cost of rice imports
TIGHTENING supply and rising prices of rice in the world market are expected to jack up the country's cost of rice importation next year.
Rice prices in the world market have increased by 30 percent. International rice traders forecast that from an average of $230 per metric ton, the price will reach $300 per metric ton.
"This is not good for big buyers, including the Philippines, whose average imports reach 500,000 metric tons and above," said an industry source.
This year, state trading firm National Food Authority (NFA) spent about P12 billion to import 920,000 metric tons of rice to stabilize supply and prices.
The NFA estimates that rice importation next year will not exceed 600,000 metric tons, lower than this year's level, but the impact of typhoons that hit some rice-producing areas is yet to be factored in.
Industry sources said price hikes by Thailand, the world's leading rice exporter, caused further increases in world rice prices.
The Thai government recently increased its buying price of "palay" [rice before milling] from farmers to about $260 per metric ton.
"The government of Thailand increased the subsidy it gives to the rice farmers in a bid to woo votes for the incumbent administration for next year's national election," the source said.
The source noted that Thailand, whose production growth continued to outpace those of other rice exporting countries, would likely remain as the world's primary source of rice. Most of its competitors, he said, are having problems in rice production.
China is expected to withdraw from the international market further next year because of its limited supply for export. India is also expected to limit its exports because of reduced production and lack of government subsidy. Vietnam, which has emerged as another major rice supplier, is also having production problems and is expected to reduce its export volume.
"With China, India and Vietnam expected to remain in the sidelines, Thailand will be in the best position to dictate prices," the source noted.
"Let's hope that the country could hurdle the El Niño next year and that farmers will be able to increase production. Otherwise, it will be more expensive for us to import rice," he said.
Philippine rice production this year is expected to reach a record of 14.54 million metric tons, about seven percent higher than the 2003 output of 13.5 million.
Agriculture officials attributed this year's production increase to the widening use of hybrid and certified rice seeds, and to favorable weather. Yields per hectare have gone up 4.2 percent.
MGR Archive 5.12.2004
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