With figures from the Food Security Committee showing sufficient rice supply until the end of June, the National Food Authority (NFA) Council unanimously decided in its 106th regular meeting on Tuesday, January 26, that the country may not need to import rice for the first quarter of this year.

The decision took into consideration the projected effects of El Niño.

NFA rice stock inventory currently stands at 944,500 MT, good for 29 days to last. It is 80 percent higher compared to stocks during the same period last year.

NFA is mandated to maintain rice stock inventory that is good for 30 days at the start of the lean month season, particularly in the month of July. Daily national rice consumption rate is at 31,000 MT.

The entire rice industry inventory, including household and commercial stocks, is also sufficient and good for 110 days to last.

Total rice importation contracted for this year is conservative at 500,000 MT thru a government-to-government procurement with Vietnam and Thailand. It was contracted last year, with arrivals scheduled this year, to get the lowest possible price.

The Council is composed of representatives from NFA, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and is chaired by the Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (OPAFSAM).

Source: National Food Authority