MANILA, Philippines – The National Food Authority (NFA) is inviting the private sector to participate in the importation of an aggregate volume of 805,200 metric tons (MT) of rice under the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) for this year.
This move is to allow importers from the private sector to bring in rice at lower cost until 2017.
Under the 2015 MAV program, the total importation volume comprises 755,200 MT of country-specific quota (CSQ) and 50,000 MT of omnibus origin volume.
The CSQ is broken down as follows: China, 50,000 MT; India, 50,000 MT; Pakistan, 50,000 MT; Australia, 15,000 MT; El Salvador, 4,000 MT; Thailand, 293,100 MT; and Vietnam, 293,100 MT.
Each importer would be allowed to bring in a maximum of 20,000 MT for the entire allocation from any country of origin. No more allocations would be issued when the omnibus origin volume is exhausted.
All rice imported under the 2015 MAV rice importation program shall be levied with a tariff of 35% to be paid in advance to the Land Bank of the Philippines. The final assessment and valuation, however, shall be made by the Bureau of Customs.
Importers are allowed to import well-milled rice with quality not lower than 25% brokens or other special rice varieties.
Interested parties should submit pertinent documents to the Grains Marketing Operations Department of the NFA in its central office in Quezon City and pay a non-refundable processing fee of P50,000.
Entities that can apply to import under the program include corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorship, farmers cooperatives, and joint ventures. Importers should be able to deliver the imported rice on or before November 30, 2015.
The Philippines agreed last year to increase the volume of rice that can enter the country at a reduced tariff of 35% to 805,200 MT from 350,000 MT in exchange for the extension of its special tax treatment on rice by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
As Southeast Asian economies attain full integration this year, Filipino rice farmers would be pitted against agricultural powerhouses such as Thailand and Vietnam that can easily bring in rice to the Philippines at low tariff.
The government is thus grooming rice growers to increase production and improve the quality of produce to maximize the benefits of free trade within Southeast Asia.
With the opening of the 2015 MAV rice importation program, the Philippines is seen to import nearly 2 million MT of rice this year as the prevailing dry spell is expected to reduce rice production this year.
Domestic rice stock enough for 93 days
Meanwhile, the latest report from the Philippine Statistics Authority said the country maintains a domestic rice stock inventory adequate for 93 days as of May.
Stocks held in households remain sufficient for 44 days. Those in commercial warehouses would be enough for 31 days while those in NFA depositories would be enough for 18 days.
The country’s total rice stock inventory was placed at 3.17 million MT as of May 1 – higher by 25.7% from the 2.52 million MT and 24.6% higher than last month’s inventory of 2.54 million MT.
Around 47% of this month’s total rice stock inventory were with households, 33.7% in commercial warehouses, and 19.3% in NFA depositories.
Year-on-year rice stocks were higher in all sectors. Stock levels in households rose by 12.3%, those in commercial warehouses by 46.6%, and in NFA depositories by 31%.
Month-on-month rice stocks rose in all sectors. Stocks in households rose by 18.6%, in commercial warehouses by 33%, and NFA depositories by 25.9%. – Rappler.com