By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The country’s rice inventory fell for the first time for this year, with household and commercial warehouses both seeing lower stocks.
As of November, the total rice stocks was at 2.96 million metric tons (MT), lower by 1.3 percent than the previous year’s record of 3.00 million MT, a data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
Month-on-month, this was higher by 30.0 percent than the previous month’s inventory level of 2.27 million MT as stocks in the National Food Authority (NFA) surged by 334.8 percent.
Compared with previous year’s record, rice stocks in households and commercial warehouses declined by 2.0 percent and 26.7 percent, respectively.
With reference to the previous month’s inventory level, rice stocks in households, commercial warehouses and NFA depositories grew by 45.1 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.0 percent, respectively.
Of the total rice stocks during the month, 51.5 percent were from households, 33.1 percent from commercial warehouses, and 15.3 percent from NFA depositories.
Locally, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the country’s palay output alone will end at 18.49 million MT, which would be the country’s lowest unhusked rice output since 2016.
From 2015 to 2018, palay production in the country was highest in 2017 at 19.28 million MT and lowest in 2016 at 17.63 million MT, a data from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
In 2018, palay production was recorded at 19.07 million MT.
As for the imported supply, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently changed its earlier forecast and said that the country’s actual rice imports may end at a record 3.2 million MT instead of 3 million MT, the highest amount of imported rice allowed to enter the country.
Sometime in October, Dar acknowledged that Rice Tariffication Law or Republic Act (RA) 11203 already resulted to an overwhelming amount of rice imports to the detriment of Filipino rice farmers.