THE RICE inventory on May 1 was estimated at 2.95 million metric tons (MMT), up 1.3% from a year earlier, and up 12.2% year on year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
The inventory estimate by the PSA, which issued its Rice and Corn Stocks Inventory report Tuesday, is sufficient for about 92 days.
Some 42.9% of the rice stocks were held by households, 38.1% by commercial warehouses, and 18.9% by the National Food Authority (NFA).
Inventory held by households and commercial warehouses fell 9% and 25.9% year-on-year, respectively. Meanwhile NFA stocks surged 15,952.4% after year-earlier inventories were drawn down, helping trigger 2018’s inflation crisis.
On a month-on-month basis, inventory held by households grew 7.6% and commercial warehouse inventory rose 28.4%. NFA stocks declined 3.1%.
The NFA has shifted its focus to maintaining a buffer stock, its authorized role under the Rice Tariffication Law. It is currently purchasing clean and dry palay, or unmilled rice, at P20.70 per kilo, fulfilling its mandate of procuring rice only from domestic farmers. Year on year, depositories during the month was up 72.6% in households, and was up 160.2% in commercial warehouses. On the other hand, month-on-month, households’ stocks inventory was 30.1% lower, but commercial warehouses depositories were up 55.1%. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang