Philippines looks to Thailand, Vietnam to shore up buffer rice stocksBy Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippines will buy rice from Thailand or Vietnam to make sure that the country will have enough buffer stock for 30 days by June 30, the National Food Authority (NFA) said.
NFA Administrator Angelito Banayo said the NFA council had decided to invite tenders for 100,000 metric tons of rice from Thailand or Vietnam.
About 20,000 MT will be bought from Cambodia under a memorandum of agreement being drafted by the Department of Agriculture and its counterpart in that country.
Banayo said the invitations would be sent out Wednesday.
If the MOA with Cambodia is completed within May 30, the government could order 20,000 MT of rice from them, he said. If not, those additional imports will be purchased from either Thailand or Vietnam, Banayo said.
The government set the rice import volume requirement this year at 500,000 MT. Of that amount, 380,000 MT were brought in by rice traders and farmers cooperatives under the NFA’s importation program.
The balance of the 500,000 MT would be bought by the government. Officials had said that a government-to-government contract for rice imports is cheaper as the Philippines could get preferential rates.
Banayo noted the country would not have enough rice stocks in the warehouses by June 30 if it did not buy more grains. With a Reuters report