Bidding for importation of 750,000MT of rice set
The bidding for the importation of 750,000 metric tons of rice under the National Food Authority (NFA) can finally be held soon after disagreements between its management body and policy-making council were ironed out.
NFA spokesperson Rex Estoperez said the grains agency was now focusing on increasing its presence in the market to about 20 percent, and the bidding was seen to pave the way for the achievement of this goal.
He said the agency had decided to stop measuring its inventory by the number of days it could fill the country’s daily requirement. He, however, said NFA’s stocks were currently about 5 million bags—enough to last until the end of the month assuming that 128,000 bags will be distributed daily.
Based on the instruction of the NFA Council, the 750,000 MT of imported rice would be divided into three tranches of 250,000 MT each, and would be auctioned off every after two weeks starting Oct. 18.
Initial shipments are expected to arrive no later than the end of November, while the rest may arrive by early next year.
Stakeholders and economists said that the way to bring down rice prices was to flood the market with affordable rice.
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