By Madelaine B. Miraflor
As much as 16 foreign bidders are now looking to bag contracts to supply imported rice of as much as 250,000 metric tons (MT) to the state-run grains agency National Food Authority (NFA).
In an effort to effectively build up government buffer stocks for this year’s lean months, NFA has already begun the process of rice procurement for another 250,000 MT under an open tender scheme where supply could come from any country and suppliers could come from either the private or government sector.
During the pre-bid conference yesterday, 16 companies expressed interest to supply the Philippines its much needed stocks.
Of the 16 bidders, seven came from Vietnam namely Vietnam Northern Food Corp., Vietnam Southern Food Corp., Gentraco Corp., Gia International Corp., Hiep Loi Joint Stock Co., Phan Minh Investment Production Trading Services, and Khiem Thanh Co. Ltd.
Thailand has five including Ponglarp Co. Ltd., Thai Hua Co. Ltd., Capital Cereals Co. Ltd., Asia Golden Rice Co. Ltd. and Thai Capital Crops Co. Ltd.
The remaining bidders are Olam International Ltd. from Singapore, Phoenix Global DMCC from United Arab Emirates, Meskay & Femtee Trading Co. Ltd. from Pakistan, and Paritas Trading Corp. from the Philippines.
NFA Deputy Administrator Judy Carol Dansal said that for this particular bidding, the agency scrapped the rule that limits the volume of rice that one bidder can supply to the country.
“There is [now] no limitation on the volume. This time, we allowed the participation of more [and] it’s up to them on how many lots they would like to bid. A certain trader can bid for the entire 250,000 provided they qualify and they have the lowest bid,” Dansal said.
According to her, the rationale behind this is for NFA to allow traders to have “wider participation” and less chance of failed bidding.
Deadline for submission of bids is on May 22 at 10 am. Opening of Bids will be held 5 minutes later at 10:05 a.m. of the same day.
The total volume is divided into nine lots to be delivered via 14 designated discharge ports across the country, namely, Poro Pt., La Union; Batangas; Subic; Tabaco; Iloilo; Bacolod; Cebu; Tacloban; Zamboanga; Cagayan de Oro; Surigao; Gen. Santos City; Davao City and Manila.
This private sector-led importation came just a few days after NFA succesfully conducted a government-to-government bidding for the importation of another 250,000 MT of rice.
After a failed bidding, NFA last week finally awarded the supply contracts for 250,000 MT worth of rice imports to the governments of Vietnam and Thailand.
This, after the two governments adjusted their offers, lowering their prices, to match NFA’s reference price.
Of the total volume, Thailand will bring in 60,000 MT of 25 percent broken rice not later than May 31, 2018, and the balance of 60,000 MT not later than June 15, 2018.
Vietnam, on the other hand, will bring in 40,000 MT of 25 percent broken rice not later May 31, 2018, and another 40,000 MT not later than June 15, 2018. The 50,000 MT of 15 percent broken rice will be shipped by Vietnam to the designated ports not later than June 30, 2018.
On top of all of these, NFA is still looking to import more rice this year as the expected supply of 500,000 MT is only going to be good for 15 days or less.