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Typhoon Mangkhut damages Philippine rice production

Typhoon Mangkhut cost the Philippines a total of 250,730 tonnes of paddy rice after it hit across the nation’s northern provinces over the weekend, according to initial official estimates. The figure exceeded a previous forecast by 60 percent.

The country, one of the world's biggest rice importers, had been under pressure to increase its stocks even before Typhoon Mangkhut struck, with soaring retail prices helping to push inflation to its highest level in nearly a decade.

The Philippine Department of Agriculture said the estimates showed 9.6 billion PHP (177 million USD) in total crop damage, but said the figure may be higher after taking into account more field reports.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said agriculture damage is forecast at about 11 to 12 billion PHP.

Before the storm, the Philippines had already planned to import an additional 383,500 more tonnes of rice in 2018 on top of its approved purchases earlier this year of more than 1 million tonnes.

Prospects of new deals with the country pushed up export prices last week from its main supplier, Vietnam.

The death toll from super typhoon Mangkhut, which swept through Luzon Island, north of the Philippines, climbed to 65 as of September 17. There were about 33 people injured and some 45 still unaccounted for.