Thailand, Vietnam set to supply rice


VIETNAM AND THAILAND, the Philippines’ traditional rice suppliers, are poised to supply a total of 250,000 metric tons (MT) of the grain this year.

At the tender held Wednesday, Ludovico J. Jarina, Jr., chairman of the National Food Authority’s (NFA) Committee on Government-to-Government Procurement, said accepted were offers of 100,000 MT from Thailand and 150,000 from Vietnam, both at $424.85 per MT.

The accepted price would translate to a total of $106.21 million for the purchase of the 250,000 MT.

The NFA initially rejected higher bids from both countries and asked them to submit revised offers in line with its reference price of $425/MT.

Some 100,000 MT or 40% of the total will be shipped towards the end of September while the remaining 150,000 MT or 60% will be delivered by Oct. 31.

The NFA Council was to decide late Wednesday to approve the tender result.

Despite the tender by the Philippines - one of the world’s top rice buyers - Vietnam’s benchmark 5% broken rice prices fell this week to $345- 360 a ton, on a free-on-board basis, the lowest in 11 months.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said on Aug. 19 that the Philippines was secure in its rice stocks “for the rest of the year” but that generally low global prices of the grain afforded opportunity to buy in order to partly cover 2017 requirements.

Hence, the government plans to import a total of 1 million MT, of which 750,000 MT will be through government-to-government deals and the balance of 250,000 will be brought in by private traders.

As of Aug. 24, the NFA had 13.5 million bags of rice good for 21 days, according to Angel G. Imperial, NFA spokesman, who added that notices of award may be released today.

The government regards a 30-day buffer stock as standard.

The Agriculture department is targeting the country to produce 20.09 million MT this year, up from an 18.135-million MT goal adopted by the previous administration that ended on June 30.

Palay production sank 4.31% to 18.15 million MT last year from 2014’s 18.97 million MT, largely due to “intense heat” that had scorched ricefields since the second quarter of 2015.

Last semester saw palay output drop 8.13% to 7.647 million MT from 8.324 million MT in 2015’s comparable six months as the El Nino-induced drought petered out.

The Philippines imported around 1.8 million MT of rice in 2015, below a record 2.45 million MT in 2010.


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