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Phl to import 500,000-MT rice

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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will import 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice this year for the mandatory buffer stocking requirement for the lean season that starts in the month of July, the National Food Authority (NFA) announced yesterday.

The NFA Council covened on Feb. 13 and approved the importation of a maximum of 250,000 MT of 25 percent brokens and 250,000 MT of 15 brokens. All imports should be well-milled long grain white rice.

The total volume would be purchased through government-to-government deal with countries that have procurement agreements with the Philippines such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Sellers should offer a minimum volume of 50,000 MT for each variety.

Half of the total importation volume should be delivered to the Philippines not later than March 31, 2015, while the other half should be delivered not later than April 30, 2015.

Offers would be evaluated based on the lowest price offers and compliance to the procurement requirements.

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This is the first programmed rice importation for this year.

The NFA has already sent invitations to make an offer to the pertinent governments. The date for the submission of offers have yet to be set.

Domestic rice stock inventory as of January remains sufficient for 78 days, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Around 49.8 percent of this month’s total rice stock inventory were with households, 30.5 percent were in commercial warehouses and 19.7 percent were in depositories of the NFA.

Stocks held in households would be sufficient for 39 days, those held in commercial warehouses would be enough for 24 days while those held in NFA depositories would be sufficient for 15 days.

As of January 1, the country’s total rice stock inventory was placed at 2.66 million metric tons (MT), up by 25.2 percent from 2.13 million  MT in the same period in 2014. Month-on-month, however, domestic stocks fell by 12.2 percent.

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