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June 2024

FFF flags rice production discrepancies

THE Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) claims to have identified discrepancies in the government’s rice stock data indicating a significant 800,000-metric ton (MT) gap.

The group said that overstated rice production and supply had raised concerns, especially given the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

Citing latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the FFF said the country’s rice stocks totaled 1.64 million tons from January to April 1 of this year. The volume was said to be equivalent to only 44 days of national consumption, considering a daily usage of 37,500 MT.

However, the FFF said that stock levels during the said period should be around 2.46 MT or equivalent to about 66 days of consumption. The group said that this was in line with starting inventories in January plus the actual rice output and documented import arrivals during the first quarter.

This resulted in a discrepancy of about 800,000 MT or stocks good for 22 days.

“If the PSA data are correct, it means that our palay (unmilled rice) output has been overstated all along,” said Raul Montemayor, FFF national manager.

“They also imply that our rice supply will tighten in the coming months, especially since El Niño’s impact on the second quarter harvest is expected to be more serious,” Montemayor added.

Last year, the FFF also claimed that palay output figures in 2022 could have been overestimated by nearly 25 percent or by around 5 million MT.

Data from the PSA also showed that production of palay (unmilled rice) during the first quarter of the year went down by almost 2 percent and reached 4.68 million MT. The FFF cited the decline due to El Niño.

Yields dropped by 1.8 percent on the average, while harvested area decreased by only 0.13 percent. QR Code

Published Date: May 23, 2024

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