Philippines rice inventory continues to soar
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s rice inventory maintained its upward trend, surging 43 percent in October, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

Latest data from the PSA showed that total rice inventory stood at 2.28 million metric tons (MT), up 43.4 percent from last year’s volume of 1.59 million MT.

This is also higher by 24 percent from the previous month’s volume stock of 1.84 million MT.

The PSA did not specify the number of days that the stock inventory of Filipinos’ main staple would be sufficient.

But, based on the average daily consumption of Filipinos of 32,000 MT, the current inventory is sufficient for 71 days.

Households had almost half of the total inventory at 46.2 percent while commercial warehouses held about 36.5 percent. Supplies from the National Food Authority depositories cornered 17.3 percent of the total.

On a monthly basis, rice stocks in households and commercial warehouses surged by 56.4 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively. However, a 3.6 percent decrease was noted in NFA depositories.

In a separate release, meanwhile, PSA said production of the seasonally adjusted palay (unhusked rice) decreased by four percent in the third quarter amid the dry spell in the country.

Based on the seasonally adjusted rice production and prices for July to September 2019, palay output fell 4.3 percent to 4.53 million MT.

The lower production was attributed to the substantial reduction in harvested areas in Western Visayas and Soccsksargen due to insufficient water supply.

The same reason was cited for decreases in harvested areas in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and Caraga.

The gross value of palay output also declined by 30 percent to P49.17 billion due to lower volume of production and farm gate prices.

The seasonally adjusted farm gate price for palay was down by 23 percent to P16.66 per kilogram compared to year ago levels. This is also seven percent lower than the previous quarter.

The wholesale price of rice for the third quarter was P38.58 per kilogram, 6.7 percent higher than the previous year.

On the other hand, retail prices decreased by 9.2 percent to P42.12 per kilo.

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