THE national rice inventory was estimated at 3.098 million metric tons (MT) as of Dec. 1, up 14% from a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
According to the PSA’s Rice and Corn Stocks Inventory report, the inventory rose 4.6% month-on-month. The rice inventory is sufficient for about 96 days’ consumption based on an average daily consumption estimate of 32,000 MT.
Households accounted for 51.9% of inventories, commercial warehouses 32.6%, and the National Food Authority (NFA) 15.5%. No breakdown was provided for how much of the stocks were accounted for by imported rice.
Household inventory grew 5.3% year-on-year, while stocks held by commercial warehouses fell 7.3%. NFA stocks rose 370.6% from a year earlier.
All segments reported higher stocks month-on-month. Inventory held by households increased 5.3%, those of commercial warehouses grew 2.9%, and NFA holdings increased 5.9%.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said that it is projecting palay production for 2019 of about 18.4 million MT, lower than the 19-million MT target, which factored in about P16.07 billion worth of agricultural damage during the period.
For 2020, it targets 19.6 million MT with the support of the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which includes a P3-billion seed component. The DA’s distribution of inbred seed through the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) started in late 2019 for dry-season planting in 2019 and 2020.
RCEF aims to reduce cost of production by about half from the current P12 per kilo, as well as to increase yield per hectare to 6 MT from 4 MT.
The corn inventory was reported at 794,870 MT, up 26.2% year-on-year, but down 33.7% month-on-month.
Corn held in commercial warehouses accounted for 77.1% of the total, while households held 22.9%. The NFA did not hold corn stocks.
Both sectors increased their holdings comparing year-on-year. Households raised their stocks 89.7%, while commercial warehouse inventory increased 14.8%.
Month-on-month, household inventory fell 18.1%, while holdings of commercial warehouses fell 37.2%. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang