PH may import up to 500,000 MT rice to boost inventory — DA exec Panganiban
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 300,000 to 500,000 metric tons (MT) of additional rice may be imported after Vietnamese exporters offered to sell their products at a reduced cost, said Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban on Friday.
Panganiban said Vietnamese exporters lowered their prices after a meeting in Malacañang, but the official did not specify the initially promised cost.
“We are pleased to inform the public that upon the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to open talks with Vietnam. Some Vietnamese exporters have quoted our private traders US$30-40 lower since our meeting in Malacañang,” said Panganiban in a statement released by the Palace.
“This will hopefully pave the way for the country to get better terms for the additional 300,000 to 500,000 MT rice importation for this year,” he added.
The DA is also working with the government of India to allow rice imports on humanitarian grounds. India, one of the world’s largest rice producers, has banned rice exports.
“This will help lower prices as it will further beef up our national inventory, which, even without importation, is good to last for 52 to 57 days by the end of 2023,” said the DA exec.
The move comes days after Marcos declared there was enough rice stock for the country, despite the National Food Authority’s report that the rice stockpile fell short of the inventory requirements to get the Philippines through calamities.