MAV imports face delay
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - August 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The arrival of the rice imports under the minimum access volume (MAV) scheme will be slightly delayed but state-run National Food Authority (NFA) assured this would not affect supply in the market.

In its latest resolution, NFA has approved the extension of the arrival of the first phase of the 805,200 metric tons (MT) of rice under MAV.

The first phase of the arrival of rice imports was supposed to start in July until Aug. 31 but NFA extended it to Sept. 15. The second phase is due on Dec. 20, 2018 to not later than Feb. 28, 2019.

“There are various requests from importers and bidders due to typhoons that also hit Vietnam and Thailand, continuing inclement weather at the source countries which would delay loading operations and shipment to the Philippines,” NFA grains market and operations division director Rocky Valdez said.

Other reasons cited include the late issuance of the certificate of eligibility to import rice, other logistical requirements and the difficulty in vessel booking due to port congestion.

Despite this, NFA maintained that the delay would not cause any interruption in the current rice supply in the market.

“The second phase of our MAV last year which is more than 250,000 MT started to arrive last month,” Valdez said.

For this year’s MAV, an open auction was conducted last June 25 which resulted in an oversubscription.

Of the total rice imports, 467,000 MT will be for Luzon, 153,000 MT for Visayas, and 185,000 MT for Mindanao.

Thailand and Vietnam have the highest maximum volume set for countries with specific quota at 293,100 MT each.

Discharge ports are La Union, Subic, Manila, Batangas, Tabaco and Legaspi for Luzon; Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Tac-loban for Visayas; and Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao and General Santos City for Mindanao.

The MAV refers to the volume of a specific agricultural product that is allowed to be imported with a lower tariff as a commitment of the Philippines under the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of the World Trade Organization.

The annual MAV importation is shouldered by the private sector.

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