Domestic and international impacts of the rice trade policy reform in the Philippines uri icon

abstract

  • Faced with high domestic rice prices that have fueled inflation above the 2018 target and penalized poor consumers the most, the government of the Philippines has decided to abandon the quantitative restrictions on imports and replace them with tariffs. This paper uses a global rice model based on a partial equilibrium framework to assess the possible impacts of this reform on imports, production, consumption and prices. In contrast with past similar studies, we address three key concerns (i) the heterogeneity in farm price across 16 regions in response to the combined effect of the tarriffication and the average historical trend in productivity increase at 1.5% between 2001 and 2018, (ii) the differentiation of imports by origin partly due to the different tariffs applied to countries within and beyond the Association of South East Asian Nations, and (iii) the effect on domestic prices in third countries. The simulation results suggest that the reform would increase imports by 2.47 million tons (20.7%) in 2019. We also find a large decline in farm prices and retail prices respectively by PhP 6.1/kg (30.1%) and PhP 7.6/kg (17.4%) in 2019 that explains an increase in rice consumption. We estimate the fall in total inflation at 1.2% in 2019 but less over time. Further, the large fall in farm prices in 2019 is shared quite evenly among regions in the short term but returns to pre-reform levels in the near term. Using a higher price elasticity of supply for one region obtained from panel data surveys, we show a more pronounced decline in production than the national average. Such differentiated results confirm the relevance of using a regionally disaggregated model to design more targeted policies. We also show a slight increase in world prices, which led to small increases in the domestic prices of South and Southeast Asian rice markets. While this reform is largely pro-poor consumers, policy makers would need to use the additional tariff revenue to help rice growers either increase their competitiveness and modernize their rice production or shift to other crops.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020