THE 47,000 metric tons (MT) of rice awarded to bidders in the latest import auction will arrive by Dec. 1, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said.
The 47,000 MT shipment represents the volume awarded to bidders at the auction for the first batch of 250,000 MT out of 750,000 MT authorized for import this year by the National Food Authority (NFA) Council.
The government failed to make a full award of the volume authorized because many bids failed to meet the posted reference prices.
“The first arrival will be the volume bid out under the G2P (government-to-private) arrangement of 47,000 (MT). [NFA Officer-in-Charge] Tom Escares said deliveries are expected between Nov. 15 and Nov. 30,” Mr. Piñol told reporters.
He said the new auction for the unawarded 203,000 MT is scheduled for Nov. 6. Volumes awarded at that re-bid will arrive “between Nov. 30 and Dec. 16.”
He added that shipments from the remaining 500,000 MT will be arriving starting the end of 2018 until February, in time for the lean months.
“We will have enough buffer stock,” Mr. Piñol added.
The 203,000 MT will be imported through government-to-government (G2G) agreement.
“By the end of 2018, the expected buffer stock is 134 days… or over four months’ demand,” he said, adding that the calculation includes rice held by households.
He added that the Department of Trade and Industry plans to oversee the import of a further 80,000 MT.
The DA, along with the DTI and NFA, have implemented a suggested retail price (SRP) scheme covering well-milled, regular-milled and premium rice.
“There are fears it might affect the prices of palay (domestically-grown unhusked rice) but you have to understand that the NFA is ready to procure… We would prefer if traders not corner the palay market because the government will be able to build up its inventories for 2019,” Mr. Piñol said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio