May 11, 2018 ( by Manila Bulletin )
While the government still unable to refill its warehouses with cheap, subsidized rice, private traders across the country were able to boost their stocks, sending the country’s total rice inventory at a higher level in April compared to previous month.
A data that Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released on Thursday showed that as of April 1, 2018, the country’s total rice stocks inventory was estimated at 2.18 million metric tons (MT).
This was 18.42 percent below last year’s inventory level of 2.68 million MT, but 28.59 percent higher than the previous month’s record of 1.69 million MT.
And then relative to March’s record, both stocks inventory level in households and in commercial warehouses actually grew by 25.04 percent and 43.56 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, a drop in stocks level was still observed in state-run grains agency National Food Authority’s (NFA) depositories by 71.89 percent.
Of the current rice stock level, around 63.04 percent were from the households, 36.39 percent from commercial warehouses, and 0.56 percent from NFA depositories. The latter comprised about 79.69 percent of the imported rice.
Comparisons with last year’s rice stock levels showed a decrease of 4.50 percent in the households, 12.45 percent in commercial warehouses, and 96.26 percent in NFA depositories.
Right now, the NFA is trying to fast-track the importation of 250,000 MT of rice through an open tender scheme, which will be on top of the 250,000 MT worth of supply that the governments of Thailand and Vietnam are supposed to ship to us starting this month.
A separate report showed that during the first three months of the year, the country’s palay production grew by 4.61 percent this year. In Cagayan Valley, there were reports of early harvest from the second quarter to the first quarter as a result of higher trading price.
Most regions also had expansion in harvest areas because of the usage of high yielding varieties of seeds from the Rice Program Model Farm of the Department of Agriculture (DA), adequate irrigation water supply and sufficient rainfall during the planting period.
The increases in area harvested were also attributed to the financial assistance from the DA and Local Government Units (LGUs) such as the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA), Special Assistance for Agricultural Development (SAAD) and Bottom-Up Budgeting Program (BUB) in MIMAROPA, Davao Region and SOCCSKSARGEN.
Meanwhile, the price of palay continued its uptrend with this year’s 10.19 percent increment due to higher buying price from traders.