Given its population of 105.9 million people, there are a lot of mouths to feed in the Philippines. That relatively high population is a major reason why Filipino rice imports by country cost a total US$357.7 million from its rice-supplying trade partners during 2017.
Total Filipino rice imports increased by an overall 107.6% from all suppliers since 2013 when its imported rice purchases were valued at $172.3 million. Year over year, rice imported into the Philippines appreciated by 69.8% from 2016 to 2017.
Among continents, Asian counties furnished virtually all of Philippines’ imported rice during 2017 with one exception. Just $3,000 worth of rice was imported from Spain.
The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code (HTS) prefix for rice is 1006.
Philippines Rice Imports by Country
Below are the 10 countries that supplied 100% of the rice imported into the Philippines for 2017.
- Vietnam: US$186.6 million (52.2% of total rice exports)
- Thailand: $104.5 million (29.2%)
- Pakistan: $26.9 million (7.5%)
- India: $22.4 million (6.2%)
- China: $13.3 million (3.7%)
- Myanmar (Burma): $3.9 million (1.1%)
- Japan: $115,000 (0.03%)
- Italy: $7,000 (0.002%)
- South Korea: $5,000 (0.002%)
- Spain: $3,000 (0.001%)
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing rice supplier to the Philippines since 2013 was China via its 243.1% improvement.
In second place was India (up 118.2%) followed by Thailand (up 92.9%) then Vietnam (up 82%).
The Philippines also grows its own rice, but shipped just $885,000 worth of the grain product to international buyers during 2017. However, the Philippines did post positive net exports for rice during 2017 with the 7 trade partners shown below.
Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus that the Philippines earned. In other words, the difference between the value of Filipino rice exports and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- (net export surplus for rice)
- Indonesia: US$502,000 (net export surplus for rice)
- United States: $193,000
- United Arab Emirates: $88,000
- Saudi Arabia: $51,000
- Qatar: $25,000
- Hong Kong: $16,000
- Italy: $2,000
In addition to highly populated Indonesia, three of the four top countries that propelled the Philippines to surplus wins in the international trade of rice are in the Middle East. This positive cashflow confirms the Philippines competitive advantage for this specific product category in its trade with these trade partners–as it does for the other listed countries.
Below are the 9 countries that caused the highest rice deficits for the Philippines during 2017.
- Vietnam: -US$186.6 million (net export deficit for rice)
- Thailand: -$104.5 million
- Pakistan: -$26.9 million
- India: -$22.4 million
- China: -$13.3 million
- Myanmar (Burma): -$3.9 million
- Japan: -$115,000
- South Korea: -$5,000
- Spain: -$3,000
Historically, Vietnam has been responsible for the Philippines racking up the highest deficits in the international trade of rice. The following negative cashflows highlight the competitive disadvantages the Philippines has for this specific product category.
However, it also signals opportunities for rice-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand among over 100 million Filipino consumers.
The World Factbook, East & Southeast Asia: Philippines (People and Society–Population), Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 29, 2019
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 29, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on January 29, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on January 29, 2019
Wikipedia, Rice. Accessed on January 29, 2019