PH rice stocks tighten at start of 2013
Rice stocks in the Philippines, a major importer trying to become self-sufficient in the staple food of its 100 million people, have tightened slightly going into 2013, the government’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics said.
The BAS said in a monthly update that the rice stock inventory as of January 1 is enough for 74 days of daily consumption, down from the 77 days available on December 1, 2012.
Normally, the Philippines should have 90 days or 3 months’ worth of rice stocks for Filipinos.
But that number by the BAS is misleading. Rice stocks are actually down to just over a month, or 35 days, of daily consumption. The BAS said privately held household stocks are good for 39 days, with stocks in commercial warehouses stand at 18 days and those in government-owned National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses are good for 17 days.
In January, NFA warehouses held 18 days of rice stocks and commercial warehouses had 20 days as both slipped by a few days. Private household stocks remained unchanged at 39 days.
Stocks in private households tend to make the number look better than it actually is.
The Department’s BAS said rice inventories as of Jan. 1, 2013 fell nearly 4% from year ago levels to 2.52 million tons.
The Philippines is aiming to increase unmilled rice production in 2013 to 20 million metric tons, up over 11% from the record harvest of 18 million tons in 2012. - Rappler.com
Note: Rene Pastor is with Philippine Commodities Digest, a weekly publication of New Jersey-based A & V Media that provides a comprehensive roundup of developments and trends in the country’s key farming and mining sectors. He is a freelance journalist who worked with the news agency Reuters for nearly 23 years. He graduated with a Masters degree in International Affairs from the New School in New York city and received a bachelor of arts in Communications from the Ateneo de Manila University. Rene is also a lecturer at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey.