Thai-Philippine MoUs for rice exports worth 2.8 billion baht signed

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Commerce Ministry recently facilitated a significant trade development, leading a team of rice exporters to the Philippines and securing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) valued at 2.8 billion baht (US$77 million).

Ronnarong Phoolpipat, Director-General of the Foreign Trade Department, headed the delegation, which included Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, during a visit from July 3 to July 4.

The mission resulted in the signing of nine MoUs between Thai exporters and Philippine rice importers, covering 130,000 tonnes of rice, thereby enhancing Thailand’s rice market share in the Philippines, said Ronnarong.

“The department and commercial attaches in the Philippines were instructed to expand the market for Thai rice as the Philippines is expected to import 4.1 million tonnes of rice this year, up by 200,000 tonnes or 5.1% from the February estimate of 3.9 million tonnes. This increase is attributed to lower domestic production, leading to insufficient supply to meet local demand.”

The Thai delegation also engaged with the National Food Authority (NFA) of the Philippines, exchanging valuable market information. The NFA is the state-run agency in charge of food security in the country.

Ronnarong noted that the Philippines anticipates a rise in rice imports this year and into the next, following the government’s decision to lower import tariffs on rice from 35% to 15% until 2028.

Rice export

The new tariff is expected to be implemented this month and is likely to boost Thailand’s rice trade, Ronnarong added.

According to the NFA, rice import tariffs will undergo a review every four months.

The Philippines government is also working on legislative amendments to allow the NFA to import rice in emergency situations, with the proposal currently under Senate consideration.

Under the existing law, the NFA’s role is restricted to maintaining buffer stocks for disaster situations.

Thailand has committed to supporting the Philippines’ food security by being ready to export rice as needed.

The event, organised by the department in partnership with the Thai Trade Centre in Manila, saw the participation of 70 importers, rice traders, retailers, and representatives from Philippine government agencies, as well as media and influencers.

The Thai Rice Market Promotion event, held on July 4 at the Mango Tree restaurant, highlighted Premium Thai Rice with Authentic Thai Food. The restaurant has received the Thai Select award from the Commerce Ministry.

This initiative aims to leverage Thai soft power by promoting the authenticity and superior quality of Thai rice, reported Bangkok Post.

Rice exports to the Philippines surged in the first six months of 2024, increasing by 382% year-on-year to 299,787 tonnes, valued at 5.98 billion baht or US$167 million.

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Bright Choomanee

With a degree in English from Srinakharinwirot University, Bright specializes in writing engaging content. Her interests vary greatly, including lifestyle, travel, and news. She enjoys watching series with her orange cat, Garfield, in her free time.

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