Manila, Philippines– The National Food Authority (NFA) has awarded the supply of 250,000 metric tons of rice imports to Vietnam and Thailand.
The NFA reopened the tender for government-to-government procurement on Friday, May 4, after Vietnam and Thailand failed to comply with the reference price of the NFA last week.
The agency asked for two types of rice – 15% and 25% broken rice. The percentage indicates how much of the grain is broken down during the milling process.
NFA’s reference price was set at $531 per ton for the 15% broken rice and $520.50 per ton for the 25% broken rice, based on the prevailing world market prices and the peso-dollar exchange rate as of May 3, 2018.
For the 15% broken rice category, the NFA asked for 50,000 tons. Vietnam won that deal with an offer of $526.50 per ton.
Vietnam also won a separate deal for 80,000 tons of 25% broken rice at $517.50 a ton, below the NFA’s budget of $520.50 a ton.
Thailand initially offered $520 per ton for the supply of 120,000 tons of 25% broken rice, but adjusted its price to match Vietnam’s $517.50 per ton for the same volume.
Thailand and Vietnam are expected to deliver the first batch of rice on May 31, ahead of the so-called lean months when there is minimal local harvest.
On the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Singapore last week, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc committed to President Rodrigo Duterte that his country is ready to supply affordable rice to the Philippines if needed.
Duterte in April directed the NFA to build up its rice buffer stock that would last 60 days, equivalent to 1.9 million tons.
NFA Spokesperson Rex Estoperez admits that the “60-day buffer stock is too much for us.”
“We have to look at our logistics and budgets again,” he said.
Despite the challenges, Estoperez said the agency will comply with the directives of the President. – Rappler.com