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NFA expects rice prices to stabilize next week

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rice merchant
A rice merchant replenishes a sack at the Kamuning Public Market in Quezon City. -- PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

THE National Food Authority (NFA) said it expects rice prices to stabilize with subsidized rice selling for between P27 to P32 per kilogram to be made available to the public by next week.

In a statement on Wednesday, NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino said: “With the expected arrival of fresh stocks for our food security and stabilization functions, the public will be watching us on how we can effectively stabilize, and possibly pull down rice prices.”

A total of 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice from Thailand and Vietnam procured through a government-to-governement (G2G) scheme is set to arrive starting in late May, which will help replenish the NFA’s buffer stocks.

On Tuesday, the NFA also bid out another order for 250,000 MT from 13 private traders to reinforce inventories during the lean months.

Reuters has reported that private Thai suppliers won 212,500 MT of the order at between $465,04 and $461.75 per MT.

Mr. Aquino also cautioned that the subsidized rice “should go directly to its intended beneficiaries.”

Aside from injecting cheap rice into the market to stabilize prices, the NFA also provides rice to areas hit by calamities, provinces that are unable to produce enough rice and to poor beneficiaries supported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato