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Manila eyes additional rice imports from Vietnam
Publication Date : 23-07-2014
The Philippines is considering importing an additional 400,000 tonnes of milled rice from Vietnam, double the volume that was previously announced.
Additional imports on top of the 800,000 tons that were bought last April was on the table in Tuesday’s National Food Authority Council meeting as the intensified release of NFA rice into the market threatened to deplete the agency’s inventory.
According to the Philippine Statistical Authority, the NFA was holding as of June 1 only 1.08 million tonnes or 12 days’ worth of supply.
The NFA is responsible for maintaining a buffer stock that should last half a month, which, at a national consumption rate of 34,000 MT a day, was about 500,000 MT.
Secretary Francis Pangilinan, presidential assistant for food security and agriculture modernisation, earlier ordered the NFA to double the daily release of milled rice to 25,800 sacks from 12,500 sacks amid rising prices of commercially available rice.
The recent onslaught of Typhoon “Glenda” did not help the NFA’s inventory-keeping as it released 7,500 sacks to evacuation areas, but also lost at least 13,000 sacks due to damaged warehouses.
The NFA said in a situation report that it had kept open its warehouses at the height of Glenda’s rampage to provide supplies to affected communities, especially in Ilocos, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Metro Manila.