NFA: Price of commercial rice should drop to P37 to P39 per kilo in 2 weeks | Inquirer News

NFA: Price of commercial rice should drop to P37 to P39 per kilo in 2 weeks

/ 06:48 PM September 27, 2018

The National Food Authority (NFA) said the price of commercial rice should drop to P37 to P39  per kilo in two weeks to a month’s time from P40 to P42 today amid efforts to stabilize the price of the staple.

NFA Spokesperson Rex Estoperez told reporters in a chance interview that this would be achieved by flooding the market with NFA rice, which now accounts for 20 percent of the supply in the market, up from around 13 percent in August.

However, it would still take some time to tame soaring prices.


“What we are expecting 2 weeks to 1 month from now is that prices would slightly soften,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino on Thursday.


He explained that the current inventory in warehouses points to 2.3 million bags of NFA rice, which means the cheap rice could maintain its current 20 percent level of participation in the market for around 17 days.

The NFA Council has approved the importation of 750,000 metric tons (MT) of rice. Estoperez said the imports are scheduled to arrive later this year, with the first batch expected to come before the end of November.

The inventory has the potential to reach up to 6 million bags given upcoming imports, he added.

He also said that there is a possibility of increasing the market participation of NFA rice from the private sector as long as prices do not stabilize.

“That’s the purpose of importation. That’s why the private sector needs to release [their stock] if ever they have any,” he said.

If prices stabilize, the NFA rice would step back and let market forces prevail. By then,  cheap rice would revert back to being used as a buffer stock, according to the official.


The spike in the prices of rice has contributed to the nine-year high in inflation last August, official data showed. This was  followed by Typhoon “Ompong,” which left billions of pesos worth of infrastructure and agricultural damage in its wake.

The typhoon destroed 517,175 hectares of rice farms, translating to production losses of about 750,000 MT of rice, according to the Department of Agriculture.

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While the decision to import rice could bring relief to the market, this will also put the agency deeper in debt. So far, the agency’s total debt to the national government at about P185.9 billion. /ee

TAGS: News, NFA rice, Philippines

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