THE NATIONAL rice inventory rose 10.9% year-on-year to 2.375 million metric tons (MT) in February, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said, following a substantial increase in holdings by the National Food Authority (NFA).

In its Rice and Corn Stocks Inventory report, the PSA said rice held by households rose 1.3% to 1.045 million MT while those of commercial warehouses rose 3.7% to 841.15 thousand MT.

NFA inventories rose 64.2% to 488.68 thousand MT.

On a month-on-month basis, the national rice inventory was down 11.2%, with household stocks falling 12.7%, those of commercial warehouses down 11.6%, and NFA stocks declining 6.9%.

Meanwhile, corn inventories in February fell 16.3% year-on-year to 654.52 thousand MT.

Stocks of corn held by households rose 4.9% year-on-year to 153.10 thousand MT, while commercial warehouses held 501.42 thousand MT, down 21.1%.

The NFA has not stocked corn in the past two years.

Month-on-month, the household corn inventory declined 27.1% while commercial stocks fell 16.7%.

Separately, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the Philippines’ milled rice production is projected to be stable at 12 million metric tons (MT) in March.

In its Grain: World Markets and Trade report, the USDA added that rice imports for the month will also be steady at 2.5 million MT, as will estimated consumption at 14.4 million MT.

It said demand for feed-quality wheat in the Philippines has increased, with Russia as one of the major suppliers.

“Improvements in Russian wheat quality have also stimulated recent discussions with the Philippines, a market that has generally purchased most of its milling wheat from the United States,” the report said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave