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July 2024

Philippines to end 2024 with 95-day rice stock

Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas – The Philippine Star 

Workers unload sacks of rice from a delivery truck along Dagupan Street in Tondo, Manila on January 22, 2024.

MANILA, Philippines — The country could end the year with a rice stock level that would last for over three months as the Department of Agriculture (DA) sticks with its palay production target of 20 million metric tons (MT).

The DA is projecting a total rice inventory at the end of the year of about 3.6 million MT, which is sufficient to last for 95 days, Agriculture Assistant Secretary U-Nichols Manalo said.

The foreseen year-end rice stocks would provide the country with a a comfortable supply at the start of 2025 amid weather disturbances and global trade uncertainties such as the persisting export ban by India on its non-Basmati rice.

Earlier, the government encouraged private traders and importers to bring in more rice from abroad to ensure that the country has ample supply and to stabilize domestic prices of the staple.

For the first semester, the DA is expecting a palay output of 8.8 million MT, down by at least 200,000 MT compared to the nine million MT recorded volume in the same period last year.

The production target for the January to June period factored in the ill effects of the El Niño phenomenon on local rice production.

The DA is also keeping its full-year palay production target of 20.4 million MT.

Manalo explained that the agency is now monitoring and preparing against the anticipated impact of La Niña phenomenon on rice production in the second half.

He noted that La Niña is historically “more destructive” than El Niño because of its more frequent and longer occurrence.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier projected that palay production in the second quarter likely tumbled by 8.4 percent to 3.9 million MT as farms reeled from the ill effects of the dryer weather conditions.

In its latest production forecast, the PSA said palay or unmilled rice harvest from April to June likely declined to 3.89 million MT, 360,000 MT lower than the actual 4.25 million MT output in the same period last year.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa, meanwhile, said total rice imports this year could be more than the 3.6 million MT imported volume last year based on recent trends.

De Mesa noted that rice imports so far have been higher by 400,000 MT to 500,000 MT on an annual basis.

Latest Bureau of Plant Industry data showed that rice imports from January to May reached 2.125 million MT, about 485,000 MT higher than the 1.64 million MT recorded import volume during the same period last year.

“Rice imports could further increase if the impact of La Niña on rice production. Would be huge,” De Mesa told reporters yesterday. QR Code

Published Date: June 19, 2024

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