Rice inventory sufficient for 59 days, says DA unit

(The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s rice stock inventory remains sufficient for 59 days, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).

Stocks held in households would be good for 31 days while those held in commercial warehouses and depositories of the National Food Authority (NFA) would be sufficient for 14 days each.

In its latest Rice and Corn Stocks Inventory, BAS reported that as of February 1, the total rice stock inventory was placed at two million metric tons (MT) , 5.7 percent lower than the previous month’s inventory and one percent below the inventory in the same period last year.

Of the country’s current rice stock inventory level, 53.4 percent was held in households, 23.7 percent was stored in commercial warehouses and 22.9 percent was held in NFA depositories.

Month-on-month, rice stock inventory in NFA depositories, of which 77.4 percent is imported rice, rose 67.1 percent.

Rice imported from Vietnam at the end of 2013 for post-typhoon buffer stocking continues to arrive until the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Stocks in households and in commercial warehouses fell 15.6 percent and 18.7 percent month-on-month respectively.

Year-on-year, rice stocks in households rose 20.1 percent, while stocks in commercial warehouses and in NFA depositories fell 14.8- and 20.3-percent, respectively.

The country’s total corn stock inventory, meanwhile, rose to 215, 900 MT in February, 27.9 percent higher from the previous month’s inventory of 168, 800 MT and 43.5 higher than the inventory in the same period last year.

Around 60 percent of the February corn stock inventory was held in households, while 34.5 percent was held in commercial warehouses and 4.8 percent was held in NFA depositories.

Month-on-month, stock levels in households rose by 101.3 percent while stocks in commercial warehouses and NFA depositories fell by 20.2 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.

Year-on-year, corn stocks in households rose by 111.2 percent. Stocks in NFA depositories rose to 10, 300 MT from 70 MT in the same period in 2013. Stocks in commercial warehouses fell 15.7 percent.

The Philippines is considering the importation of 800,000 MT of rice for buffer stocking during the traditionally lean months of July to September.

The country’s rice supply is growing with the coming summer harvest, removing concerns of a rice  shortage and the need for rice importations, according to the Alliance of Filipino Rice Retailers Association.

AFFRA said the harvest in Northern as well as Central Luzon is starting especially in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan and this will result in warehouses and stores getting filled with rice supplies.

Danilo “Boy” Garcia, AFRRA national president, said that while the rice harvest will calm concerns on rice shortage, he said the government, especially the Department of Agriculture and the National Food Authority (NFA) should still prepare for the coming lean months starting June up to August.

Garcia said that the government should closely monitor the harvest coming in this summer and to implement programs that will ensure a stable supply of rice especially when natural calamities strike such as typhoon Pablo that hit Mindanao last December and the deadly typhoon Yolanda that hit the Visayas reign last November.– Rainier Allan Ronda

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