PH needs to import 250,000 tons of rice to avoid tight supply: NFA

22.03.2017

Rice supplies may become tight if the National Food Authority's (NFA) request to import is not approved soon.

NFA spokesperson Director Marietta Ablaza said the country has enough rice stocks right now, but supplies may get tight in the "lean months" if the country does not import 250,000 metric tons by April.

Ablaza said in an interview over radio DZMM that the NFA Council needs to approve the agency's request for importation soon because it takes time to import the rice stocks and distribute them to NFA regional centers.

She said the rice imports will ensure that the country's supply of the staple will remain stable from June to September, when rice harvests stop.

The NFA is recommending a government-to-government transaction for the rice imports.

Ablaza said international rice prices are relatively cheap right now at $330 per metric ton.

In 2008, a global rice crisis saw prices spike from $300 per metric ton to around $1,200 per metric ton. In the Philippines, consumers had to endure long queues just to buy rice.

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