Buffer stocks bring down rice prices in H1


The first half of the year saw milled rice prices decline slightly as ample stocks offset the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, the National Food Authority (NFA) said.

In a statement, NFA Administrator Tomas R. Escarez said rice prices in the first quarter were lower by 2 percent year-on-year. Prices also decreased in the second quarter by 0.9 percent year-on-year even if the “lean months” ahead—July to September—threatened rice production.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA), Escarez said the national average price for well-milled rice was pegged at P41.13 per kilogram in the first quarter of 2016 versus P42.68 during the same period in 2015. Prices of the staple grain averaged P41.3/kg in the second quarter compared to P41.81/kg in the same period last year.

“The ample supply during the first semester, despite the El Niño phenomenon in some areas across the country, was attributed to the output from the summer harvest from February to April, and the timely arrival of rice imports before the lean months of July to September,” Escarez said.

He said the current national rice inventory stood at 3.01 million tons, good to last for 96 days.

He said about one-third of this volume—913,500 tons good for 28 days—were kept in NFA warehouses. Commercial warehouses, meanwhile, were holding 994,700 tons while households were keeping a total of 1.17 million tons.

Escarez said the “negative inflation” in rice prices showed the significance of prudent buffer stocking, market positioning and monitoring.




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