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Philippines seeking another 300,000 t rice imports amid pandemic

The Philippines is seeking another 300,000 tonnes of rice imports to boost state stockpiles while battling the coronavirus pandemic and ahead of its own lean season in the third quarter, a senior official said on Monday.

A government-to-government deal of this volume would raise Philippine rice imports so far this year to a record 3 million tonnes. Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement the government has already sent inquiries to Asia's biggest producers in Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Cambodia.

Fresh demand from the Philippines, the world's top rice buyer, could boost export prices in Asia that are already at their highest in as much as two years.

Last week, rice export prices from India held near a nine-month high on strong demand from buyers in both Asia and Africa. Prices in Vietnam for its 5% broken rice variety hit a two-year peak due to lower domestic supplies.

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