Rice experts warn of rising prices
A rice expert warned of higher rice prices in the Philippines due to thinning rice stocks in Asia which is aggravated by the El Nino.
Dr. V. Bruce J. Tolentino, deputy director-general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), said rice stocks are down across the region and in China.
“There is a strong indicator that we might suffer the same problems as 2007-2008,” Tolentino was quoted by Malaya Business Insight.
“If another major climate event occurs in the next few months, we are in for a bad time. It’s scary right now,” he added.
He said the worst that could happen is for calamities to strike the Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley regions, the country’s biggest rice producers.
Dr. Calixto Protacio, executive director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), also told Malaya Business Insight that the situation is not yet that bad because the El Nino has only been searing Mindanao, which is not a major rice producer.
“The problem is when rice stocks worldwide go down,” he said.
He said Philrice is watching the trading price of rice in Thailand, which is the first indicator of tightness.
The price in Bangkok is about $350 per ton and getting closer to $400.