By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Additional imported rice of about 47,000 metric tons (MT) should start arriving in the country by November 15, a top agriculture official insisted.
It was just two weeks ago since the NFA failed to secure suppliers for most of the first 250,000 MT of rice it has been authorized to import for the remainder of the year.
During such bidding process, foreign companies found it too hard to meet NFA’s buying price of US$428.18 per ton, with only three of 20 bidders being able to secure import contracts with the country under this particular importation.
These companies are Thai Capital Crops Company Limited, Vietnam Northern Food Corp. (VINAFOOD 1), and Vietnam Southern Food Corp. (VINAFOOD 2).
Combined, they offer to supply the country with only 47,000 MT of rice.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Philippine government wants to see some of these stocks delivered here in 15 days.
“Delivery will stretch bet November 15 to November 30 for the 47,000 MT,” Piñol said.
In the meantime, the NFA is set to bid out on November 6 the import contracts for the remaining 203,000 MT of rice. This will be done through a government to government importation.
This will be followed by a government to private importation for another 500,000 MT.
“After a week, everything will be arranged and the shipment will start,” Piñol said.
Piñol said he is not worried about imported rice flooding the market amid harvest season.
If anything, he said this will make the country ready if ever another typhoon hits the country before the end of the year.
By the end of the 2018, the expected buffer rice stock for NFA, household, and commercial would be around 134 days.
Meanwhile, the price of both milled and unhusked rice went down on a weekly basis as harvest season peaks.
A data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that during the second week of October, the average farmgate price of palay went down by 3.16 percent to P21.17 per kilogram (/kg).
Year on year, this is still higher by 13.03 percent from the price level of P18.73/kg.