Recently according to Economic Planning Strategy it has been quoted that the Philippines’s considering to import another one million tons of rice next year to maintain an adequate stocks and to avoid price hikes. It has been reported that around 500,000 tons of rice, part of 750,000 tons was imported recently from Vietnam and Thailand are for delivery in the first quarter of 2016. However, the need for another one million tons of rice is being envisaged to ensure 45 days buffer stock throughout the dry season.
Further, based on analysis of the current data, the country may need to increase to import another one million tons to maintain 45 days buffer stock. It has been indicated that an adequate supply and the timely importation are crucial because to avoid a domestic prices to shoot up while world prices are relatively stable. The proposal for additional rice imports reportedly needs an approval by the National Food Authority (NFA) council.
In this context, furthermore, the government is expecting this year’s paddy output to decline by about 25% due to the El Nino-induced drought conditions. The effects of the El Nino are expected to last till the middle of 2016. The Government officials are considering the phenomenon to be as intense as that in 1997-98 when the farm output fell by 23% while prices increased significantly. However, it has approved now to import about 1.8 million tons of rice for delivery this year, including about 937,000 tons already received and about 600,000 tons purchased by the private traders under the WTO rules.