News on the production, distribution and sales of rice in the Philippines and around Asia.
Rice production in the Philippines is one of the most important food supply in the country and helps boost the Philippines economy. Rice is the most important food crop for Philippines.
The agriculture department said there has been an increase in commercial rice prices but assured the public that there was enough supply to serve domestic demand until the next harvest.
“It seems there is a price correction of P5 to P10 per bag but that only translates to 10 to 20 cents per kilogram. We see that as reasonable and logical,” said Secretary Arthur C. Yap told reporters on Thursday.
“We are not alarmed by that price movement,” Yap said, while maintaining that supply of the grain is stable.
Reports on Monday said that rice prices had increased by P1 per kilogram in the Commonwealth Avenue market and by P2 in Cebu.
Harvest has ended
Yap said some traders and retailers may be experiencing constricted supply deliveries as the main harvest has ended. But he said the supply of the staple was expected to grow again with the approaching summer.
“By the end of February we would have started to harvest again for the dry crop. Then there’s the March and April summer crop,” he said.
The country has a total inventory of 2.5 million tons of rice to date, the DA has said.
The National Food Authority (NFA) has 995,000 tons in its warehouses. Households have more than a million tons and the rest are stocked in commercial establishments.
Yap said stocks stand at 28 days now, meaning the period that the NFA can fill the country’s daily rice requirement of 36,300 tons a day. Last year, it was 25 days.
The 36,300 tons is consumed by 91 million Filipinos every day, according to government estimates.
NFA procurement was low in 2009 as successive typhoons had destroyed agricultural crops and reduced the supply of palay, or unhusked rice.
NFA administrator Jessup P. Navarro said in a statement that the agency managed to buy 450,000 tons of palay in 2009 despite the poor bumper crop because of the typhoons.
The procurement is not even half the target of 1 million tons.
However, Navarro said it was still the second-highest palay procurement recorded in the last 30 years, next to the 650,000 tons bought in 2008.
As for imports, Yap said further tenders have not been set.
In November and December last year, the Philippines, the world’s largest rice importer, invited tenders for 2.05 million tons of white rice from abroad for 2010.
However, rising prices forced the NFA to buy only 1.82 million tons.
Read more – Inquirer Headlines