Despite an expected increase in rice production and imports, the Philippines’ rice inventory had slipped by 7.5 percent or to 2.58 million metric tons (MT) as of May.

The latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the rice stocks inventory of the country was 7.5 percent lower than the 2.79 million MT recorded in the same period last year.

Compared to the previous month’s level of 2.44 million MT, however, the current inventory was higher by 5.8 percent.

Year-on-year, rice stocks were lower in all sectors, namely household, commercial, and National Food Authority (NFA). To be specific, household stocks went down by 6.2 percent, commercial warehouses stocks by 4.0 percent, and NFA depositories by 24.2 percent.

Month-on-month, rice stocks in the households slipped by 2.7 percent, while stocks in commercial warehouses soared by 24.5 percent. Stocks in NFA depositories remained almost the same from the previous month’s level.

Of this month’s total rice stocks inventory, 55.1 percent were from households, 35.5 percent from commercial warehouses, and 9.3 percent from NFA depositories.

Just the other day, NFA Administrator Judy Dansal said that the state-run grains agency’s palay procurement activities is currently behind its target, but she is not worried at all because the demand for NFA rice has been declining.

For this year, NFA is targeting to buy 19.85 million bags of palay, but the agency had so far purchased only 6.11 million bags from January to July, which is only 31 percent of the target.

Under the liberalized regime, NFA’s sole mandate was reduced to making sure that the government has enough rice to distribute during calamities and national emergencies.

To perform this task, the agency buys locally produced palay from farmers, which it sells to local government units (LGUS) and partner agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) during a national crisis.

Right now, the present inventory level of NFA is good to last for six days, based on the Daily Consumption Requirement (DCR) of 671,280 bags per day. But based on Average Daily Sales (ADS) at market participation of 3.86 percent, current stocks at NFA will last for 155 days.

Source: Manila Bulletin (