Rice is a food staple in the Philippines.  On August 31, 2023, the government allayed rising fears about the cost of living by slashing the price of rice to just $0.72 a kg.

While this is the most notable fact, there are other statistics about Philippines’ rice worth knowing. Next, is an overview of all these factors. They include production, consumption and historical trends.

Rice production in Philippines: Stats worth knowing

The first statistic worth knowing is the total area under rice in the Philippines.

1. Total area under cultivation for Philippines rice

The country has a current acreage of 4.85 million hectares, as of June 2023. Projections of acreage between June, 2023 and June, 2024 is 4.8 million hectares.

Land under rice in the Philippines has been fluctuating over the years. In the 2013/14 year, there were 4.8 million hectares, which dropped to their lowest in the 2019-20 period to 4.64 million hectares. This marked a depreciation by 3.44% in 5 years.

There has been a rebound in the total cultivated area since then, notably in the 2022/23 period. At 4.85 million hectares currently, this marks an increase of at least 1.1% over the 2013/14 base figure of 4.8 million acres.

Projections show that the 2024 period will see yet another 1% drop in area, to settle at 4.8 million hectares.

The other important stat on Philippines’ rice is the yield per hectare.

2. Yield per hectare for Philippines rice

Like the acreage, yields per hectare have fluctuated over the past 10 years. Since June, 2013, to June, 2023, there has been a 5% rise in per-unit yields. In the 2013/14 period, a hectare produced 3.9 tonnes while in the 2022/23 period it reached 4.1 tonnes.

Projections for the period between mid-2023 and mid-2024 show that yields per hectare will reach 4.2 tonnes. This will mark an increase of 2.44% from 10 years ago (2013/14).  The reason for this markup is the encouragement by the government through farm subsidies and the use of fertilizers to increase yield.

3. Total annual production for Philippines rice

The third statistic is the total production per year. In the 2013/14 period, the Philippines produced 11.86 million tonnes of rice. By June, 2023, the figure had appreciated to 12.63 million tonnes. This marked a rise by 6.5% in the last 10 years. The reason for this is that farmers are keen to cultivate their land to benefit from the rising rice demand.

Rice consumption in Philippines: Stats worth knowing

The first stat about rice consumption in the Philippines is one of supply versus demand.

1. Supply versus demand for rice in Philippines

While projections put 2023/24 production at 12.6 million metric tonnes, the country needs 16.5 million metric tonnes for local consumption.

In other words, the Philippines will need to import an extra 3.9 million tonnes of its national cereal. In this statistic, the country is not alone. India and Kenya are some of the other two nations that will import more rice in 2024 than they did in 2022. The reason is simply a rising appetite for the grain amid low supply at home.

By importing this high amount of 3.9 million MT, Manila will be the second biggest importer after China. Beijing will likely import 5 million metric tonnes in 2024.

2. Per capita rice consumption in Philippines

The other related statistic concerning the Philippines is the per capita rice consumption. With a population of 110 million (2021 census estimate), the country consumes 133 kg of rice per capita.

Other estimates put the 2024 per capita consumption at 118.9 kg.

Though the above figure comes far behind the consumption rate in Vietnam of 190.9 kg per capita, it is still one of the five highest, globally. It reinforces the fact that rice is a staple that nationals serve in almost every meal.

Price of rice in the Philippines

The price of rice in Philippines’ rice is currently under subsidization by the government. The beneficiary is both the farmer and the consumer. While farmers have a guaranteed minimum price at the farm gate, consumers will pay for the same rice at a cheaper price than the previous.

The set price for September, 2023 for plain “palay” rice is Philippines’ Pesos (P) 41 ($0.72) a kg. The price for the well-milled standard is P45 ($0.80) per kg.

This rice ceiling came into place at the end August, 2023. It was a part of a bid by the state to reduce rising retail food prices due to inflation. In mid-August, 2023, rice in Manila was costing as high as P56 ($0.99) per kg.

The retail prices across the Philippines in 2023 have been fluctuating between P37 and P56 or 66 and 99 US cents per kilo.

Please check the most up to date prices of rice in the Philippines and also use the price finder tool to compare prices.

Historical prices of rice in the Philippines (2020-2023)

The price of rice in the Philippines between 2020 and 2023 has fluctuated on two fronts: export/import and local market prices.

Cost of importing rice into Philippines

On the first score, the import price of rice into the Philippines was $0.33 per kg in 2022. This was a drop from the 2021 figure of $0.40 per kg. The 2020 import price per unit was $0.41 per kilo.

Cost of exporting rice from Philippines

For the export prices, the 2022 price of exported Philippines’ rice was $2.34 per kilogram, while that in 2021 was $1.48. The 2021 price was higher than the 2020 price of $1.77 per kg.

Local  market prices of rice in Philippines

With regard to local market prices, the average retail price of well-milled rice was P41.68 ($0.74) per kg in 2020. This marked a slight markdown from the higher price of 2019 of P42.73 per kilo.

By 2021, the price had  risen to P43.36  ($0.77) per kg for well-milled “palay.” This marked a rise of 3.9% from the 2020 price. This was as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the supply chain.

The retail market price would gain by a few cents to stand at an average P43.77 ($0.78) in 2022. Again, the post-pandemic effects and a spike in the consumption rate, despite a rising acreage under rice, contributed to the sharp rise in the cost.

The price would remain high for much of 2023, sometimes hitting the P56 per kg mark as recently as August. It was not until the recent government’s decree for a price ceiling of P41 or 72 U.S. cents per kg that the price of rice has dropped for good.

Overall, the historical prices of rice in the Philippines between 2020 and 2023 are far below those of 2018. That year had a record P47.43 ($0.84) per kg in retail prices due to the low production of only 11.73 million tonnes of rice.

Generally,  the Philippines’ rice sector has shown characteristic appreciation in many fronts such as production, consumption and price in recent years.