November 07, 2018 ( by Manila Bulletin )
By Madelaine Miraflor
At least 13 companies expressed interest to supply the country with additional 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice through a government to private (G2P) importation, which will be done in order to inject more stocks to the National Food Authority (NFA).
On Wednesday, NFA conducted the pre-bidding for the supply and delivery of the 500,000 MT of 25 percent brokens, well-milled, long grain white rice, import contracts of which will be awarded on November 20.
The companies that participated in the bidding are Asia Golden Rice Co. Ltd., Thai Hua Co. Ltd., Ponglarp Co. Ltd., Gia International Corp., Shwe Wah Yaung Agriculture Production Co., Ltd., Vietnam Northern Food Corp. (VinaFood I), Hiep Loi Joint Stock Company, Phoenix Global DMCC, Meskay & Femtee Trading Co. (Pvt.) Ltd., VinaFood 2, Tan Long Group Joint Stock Company, Olam International, Capital Cereals Co. Ltd.
The 500,000 MT is divided into nine lots with 14 designated discharge ports, including Subic (118,000 MT), Manila (75,000 MT), La Union (65,000 MT), Batangas (40,000 MT), General Santos City (32,500 MT), Tabaco (30,000 MT), Cagayan De Oro (26,700 MT), Cebu (25,000 MT), Iloilo (20,000 MT), Tacloban (20,000 MT), Zamboanga (17,300 MT), Davao (12,500 MT), Surigao (10,000 MT), and Bacolod (8,000 MT).
The first half of 250,000 should be delivered not later than December 31, while the remaining 250,000 MT should arrive in the country not later than January 31, 2019.
During the last time the NFA conducted an open tender importation, which was held on October 18, the agency failed to award all the import contracts as most of the bidders found it hard to meet the country’s reference price.
With majority of the bid offers exceeding the NFA’s approved budget of US$428.18 per MT, only 47,000 MT of the 250,000 MT worth of rice import contracts were awarded to three foreign suppliers who offered prices lower than the approved budget.
NFA then attempted to secure offers for the supply of the remaining volume of 203,000 MT of rice through a government-to government (G2G) importation Wednesday but also failed.
This, as the governments of Thailand and Vietnam, the only two countries with existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Rice Trade with the Philippines, decided not to participate in the bidding.
Vietnam and Thailand both said in separate letters to the state-run grains agency that they found it hard to comply with the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the said importation.
Thailand, in particular, complained about the reassignment of discharge port, fumigation conditions, penalty for short delivery and short landed, among others.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who now serves as the chair of NFA Council, said the re-bidding for this will be done next week.
The series of rice importations by the NFA is intended to continuously replenish the agency’s buffer stocks in line with the President’s directive for the government to have sufficient food security stocks at all times