MANILA, Philippines – Wholesale and retail prices of rice continued to rise in the first week of August, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Monday, August 11.
The PSA reported said the average price of palay in the first week of the month remained at P21.53 per kilogram, 20.35% higher than the level in the same period last year, and same as the previous week’s.
Despite stable farmgate prices, hikes in the average wholesale and retail prices of well-milled and regular rice were seen.
For well-milled rice, the average wholesale price of P41.37 per kilogram was higher by 0.32% from the previous week, and by 16.83% from the same period last year.
The average retail price of P43.92 per kilogram was higher by 0.39% from the previous week and by 18.19% last year.
For regular milled rice, the average wholesale price rose by 0.29% from the previous week’s quotation of P38.47 per kilogram and by 19.81% from last year’s quotation of P32.20 per kilogram.
The average retail price of P40.45 per kilogram was higher by 0.27% from the previous week and by 18.55% from the same period last year.
With traders now holding most of the rice supply in the country, the government is trying to bring down prices by increasing imports.
The National Food Authority (NFA) also increased its daily rice releases through accredited retailers to 10,000 metric tons from 6,000 metric tons.
The NFA is holding a tender for the importation of 500,000 MT of rice and has a standby authority for the importation of 500,000 MT more this year.
The state-run grains procurement agency sells regular milled rice for P27 per kilogram and well-milled rice for P32 per kilogram to compete with commercial rice prices.
6 companies eye bidding
At least 6 companies are planning to bid for the supply of 500,000 MT programmed for importation between September and November.
The companies that bought bid documents during the pre-bid conference held by the NFA Monday were Louis Dreyfus Commodities Asia Pte. Ltd, Vietnam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2), Vietnam Northern Food Corporation (Vinafood 1), LG International, ADM Rice. Inc., and Olam International.
Each importer secured bid documents for one lot each equivalent to 100,000 per lot with a contract price of P2.054 billion. The NFA allotted a total of P10.27 billion for the importation of the entire volume.
The bids will be opened during the open bidding proper on August 27.
Importers must supply well-milled white rice with 25 percent brokens. The rice should have been harvested from January to June 2014 and freshly milled.
These must be packed in polypropylene bags with NFA markings as no container shipment will be allowed.
The first 40% (200,000 MT) of the volume shall be delivered not later than September 30, while another 40% shall be delivered not later than October 31. The remaining 20% (100,000 MT shall be delivered not later than November 30.
Bidders, which may come from omnibus origin, were asked to supply a minimum of 50,000 MT.
Suppliers with pending import-related liabilities prior to 2013 are not allowed to participate in the bidding unless these have been fully settled before the bidding date.
President Benigno Aquino III, in his last state of the nation address, said the government would not hesitate to flood the market with imported rice to crush the operations of opportunistic traders who are hoarding stocks for release at high prices. – Rappler.com