India Queen Basmati Rice
India Queen Basmati Rice

The Philippines National Food Authority (NFA), has imported about 550,000 tons of rice from Vietnam under government-to-government (G2G) contracts to ensure adequate stocks in the lean season (June-September).It has also allowed private rice traders to import around 805,200 tons of 25% broken rice at 35% tariff under WTO before November 30, 2015.

Under the scheme, Philippines traders can import up to 293,100 tons each from Thailand and Vietnam and up to 50,000 tons each from China, India and Pakistan; 15,000 tons from EI Salvador and the rest from other countries.

According to local sources, Vietnam rice exporters are expecting the Philippines traders to import the entire quota of 293,100 tons from Vietnam. The Vietnam rice export sector is facing trouble as China; its major importer has increased imports from Thailand. Further, Vietnam is also struggling hard to increase its exports this year due to a stiff competition from Thailand, India, Pakistan as well as emerging exporter such as Cambodia and Myanmar.

As per report from VFA (Vietnam Food Association) Vietnam exported about 2.875 million tons of rice in January 1 – July 16, 2015, down about 21% from about 3.63 million tons of rice exported in first seven months of 2014. Average rice export price so far in this year stands at about $412 per ton (FOB), down about 4% per ton from about $431 per ton as compared to last year.

It has been indicated that the Philippines private rice traders have so far applied to import only 300,000 tons of rice from Thailand and Vietnam, while the NFA is also authorized to import another 250,000 tons of rice if the EI Nino-induced drought conditions intensify. However, the government is currently assessing the need for importing the additional quantity of rice.