MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippines may look for more rice from suppliers outside of Southeast Asia in order to diversify markets and keep prices affordable, Reuters reported, citing the finance minister.
India, the world’s top rice exporter, could be a possible source of cheaper grain, said Carlos Dominguez, finance secretary. The Philippines is expected to be the second largest buyer of rice this year.
Traditionally, the main suppliers to the Philippines included Vietnam and Thailand.
In order to diversify sources and contain food inflation, the Philippines lowered its “most favored nation” tariffs for rice to a single rate of 35% from 40% for in-quota and 50% for out-quota shipments, Reuters said.
The government also said the potential for climate change to disrupt local production was a factor for the tariff reduction.
Half of the roughly 20 tropical cyclones expected to form in the western Pacific Ocean through to September are predicted to hit land in east Asian nations, Reuters said.