Philippines and Cambodia sign rice supply deal

Cambodia has joined Vietnam and Thailand as potential rice suppliers of Philippines. (Image source: Charles Haynes/Flickr)

The Philippines has signed a rice supply agreement with Cambodia that has added Cambodia to a list of leading suppliers of the grain globally

Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding recently allowing its state grain agency National Food Authority to import rice through Cambodia's state-run Green Trade for the next two years, revealed a statement from the Foreign Affairs department. No volume of import was indicated.

The import from Cambodia may be Philippines’ last major import before it reached rice self-sufficiency at the end of 2013. The country has indicated that it was sticking to a goal of producing enough rice for its needs by the end of this year, resorting only to imports to boost buffer stock.

With the deal, Cambodia has joined Vietnam and Thailand as potential rice supplier of the Southeast Asian country, which has been planning to import 187,000 tonnes this year.

Philippines, the world’s biggest rice buyer in 2010 with record imports of 2.45mn tonnes, purchased last year’s supply mostly from Vietnam and Thailand. The country has existing rice supply agreements with Thailand and Vietnam, the top two sellers of the grain globally. Its supply agreement with Thailand will expire this year.

The Philippines is aiming to increase its unmilled rice output by 11 per cent this year to 20mn tonnes, from a record harvest of 18mn tonnes last year. On the other hand,

Cambodia has plans to become one of the world’s leading rice exporters in the next few years, aiming to ship one million tonnes in 2016. It exported 800,000 tonnes in 2012, becoming the eighth largest seller of the grain, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).