Domestic rice stocks slump to six-month low
The country’s total rice inventory as of March 1 fell to 1.697 million metric tons (MT), its lowest since the 1.422 million MT in September 2017, amid dwindling stocks at the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses, which saw its lowest rice inventory level in 23 years.
The latest monthly report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that March inventory slid 22 percent lower than the inventory of 2.176 million MT recorded in the same period last year. Month-on-month, the volume as dropped 5.48 percent from the 1.795 million MT recorded in February.
The March 1 inventory is sufficient for 50 days.
Of the total rice inventory, some 64.84 percent or 1.1 million MT were in households; 32.6 percent or 533,350 MT, in commercial warehouses; and 2.56 percent or 61,400 MT in NFA depositories.
The NFA’s March 1 inventory stood at its lowest since 1994. The bulk of the state-run grain agency’s buffer stock, or about 58.94 percent, were procured locally, while the remaining volume was imported.
On a yearly basis, all segments declined. Households, commercial warehouses and NFA depositories were lower by 4.50 percent, 11.74 percent and 89.03 percent, respectively.
“Rice stocks inventory in households was higher by 1.17 percent, as compared to the previous month’s level. In contrast, stocks in commercial warehouses went down by 14.42 percent and in NFA depositories by 29.11 percent,” the PSA added.
The government reports on local rice stocks on a monthly basis to determine whether local supply is enough or will need beefing up through importation.