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May 2024

Rice inventory down in March

THE country’s rice stocks were down 3.0 percent at the start of March from a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Tuesday.

Domestic inventory as of March 1, 2024 was said to be at 1.37 million metric tons (MT), lower than the 1.41 million MT recorded in the same day last year.

On a monthly basis, rice stocks were 9.6 percent lower compared to the previous month’s 1.51 million MT.

Rice stocks held by the National Food Authority (NFA) and households both registered drops 59.9 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.

Farmers harvest rice under the scorching sun in Binangonan, Rizal on Monday, April 8, 2024. PHOTOS BY JOHN ORVEN VERDOTE

The volume of rice held by the NFA fell to 41,290 MT from the 103,070 MT recorded in 2023. The monthly decrease was 12.0 percent in comparison to February’s 46,890 MT.

Household inventory also dropped, to 694,620 MT from 811,520 MT. It was, however, higher by 1.4 percent from the month-earlier 685,200 MT.

Commercial stocks, meanwhile, increased by 27.5 percent relative to the volume logged a year earlier.

This category recorded 630,290 MT of rice stocks in March, higher than last year’s 494,250 MT.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. has assured that the country has enough rice stocks amid an ongoing El Niño and despite the temporary closure of several NFA warehouses.

Tiu Laurel also said that rice imports for this year were unlikely to reach the four million MT forecast of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Local production for the first quarter of 2024 was projected at 4.78 million MT, in the range of last year’s production.

The USDA’s forecast, Tiu Laurel said, is the “worst-case scenario” and the country will not reach that point.

Bureau of Plant Industry data showed that the country’s rice imports rose to 995,841.6 MT in the first quarter, higher by 24.2 percent compared to last year’s 801,732 MT.

As for global rice prices, Tiu Laurel said that these remained stable at $700 per ton. But with El Niño having affected output, prices will not decline “as of the moment.”

The Agriculture department’s price monitoring report as of April 5, 2024 showed that prices of imported well-milled rice ranged from P50 to P55 per kilo, while local milled rice was being sold at P48-P58 per kilo. QR Code

Published Date: April 10, 2024

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