Thailand bags rice orders worth over THB2.8 billion from the Philippines


A proactive push by the Ministry of Commerce has helped Thai rice exporters secure orders for 130,000 tons of rice, valued at over 2.8 billion baht.

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai had issued a directive to expedite the promotion of Thai rice exports to the Philippines market after news reports said that the ASEAN country would need to import approximately 4.1 million tons of rice in 2024. 

The Department of Foreign Trade organised the visit by a delegation of Thai rice traders to the Philippines from July 3-5 to strengthen trade relations. They signed nine memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Philippine rice importers for a total volume of 130,000 tons, valued at over 2.8 billion baht.

In addition to signing the MOUs on rice trade, the department, in collaboration with the Office of Commercial Affairs in Manila, invited over 70 participants, including importers, rice traders, retailers, key rice business operators, government representatives, media, and influencers to participate in a Thai rice promotion event.  The event was held under the concept “Premium Thai Rice with Authentic Thai Food” at Mango Tree Manila, a restaurant certified with the "Thai Select" stamp of the Ministry of Commerce. 

Thailand bags rice orders worth over THB2.8 billion from the Philippines

The event was part of the government’s soft power policy to promote Thai cuisine and boost the consumption of Thai rice abroad.

The event featured cooking demonstrations with Thai rice, showcasing three dishes: green chicken curry, stir-fried pork with basil, and mango sticky rice. The attendees also had the opportunity to taste authentic Thai dishes served with high-quality Thai rice, such as Thai jasmine rice, known for its delicious flavour, fragrance, and unique softness, and rice berry rice, notable for its vibrant colour and high nutritional value.

The event received positive feedback from participants, who recognised the variety and ability of Thai rice to meet the consumption needs of Filipinos, according to the Department of Foreign Trade.

Ronnarong Phoolpipat, the department’s director-general, said that Thai officials also met with the National Food Authority (NFA) of the Philippines, responsible for managing the country's rice stock. They exchanged information about the rice market situation, including the policy to reduce rice import tariffs from 35% to 15%, expected to take effect from mid-July until the end of 2028, with a review of import tariffs every four months.

The discussions also broached the possibility of amending a Philippine law to allow the NFA to import rice in emergencies, which is currently under consideration of the country’s Senate. The Thai delegation assured the hosts that Thailand was ready to export rice to support the Philippines' food security.

"The delegation's visit to the Philippines was highly successful, demonstrating that Thai rice is renowned for its quality, variety, and texture, meeting the preferences of Filipino consumers. It is expected that these activities would help increase the market share of Thai rice in the Philippines," said Ronnarong.

From January to June 2024, Thai rice exports to the Philippines amounted to approximately 299,787 tons, a 381.66% increase from the same period last year, valued at around US$167 million, a 558.97% increase year on year.