AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said Tuesday that grain retailers should start participating in the import market to make sales of the grain more direct, bringing down prices.
Mr. Piñol told reporters: “They need to look into importing, because they are the ones selling. Right now, the situation is that importer bring in the rice, which goes through traders, who mark up prices.”
Mr. Piñol said grain retailers may import around 50,000 to 100,000 metric tons (MT) outside the minimum access volume (MAV) of 805,000 MT. He said that the importation of grain retailers would be an “open quota.”
He also said that the ultimate volumes will depend the retailers, but the government will balance the market to protect the interests of farmers.
“We need to import until supply stabilizes and we achieve the directive of the President to flood the market with rice,” Mr. Piñol said.
According to Mr. Piñol, the DA estimates rice demand of 380,000 MT for areas hit by typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut).
The National Food Authority (NFA) is authorized to import 750,000 MT this year, with the bidding for the first batch scheduled for Oct. 18. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio