• PH to buy higher priced rice from Vietnam

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    THE Philippines has agreed to pay Vietnam close to $1 million more as the National Food Authority (NFA) scrambles to fill up its buffer rice stock requirement two weeks ahead of the lean season.

    During a special meeting on June 17, the interagency NFA Council has accepted Vietnam’s revised offer of $416.85 per metric ton (MT) for 100,000 metric tons of rice, the state­run grains agency said in a statement.

    The offer was above the $408.14 per MT ceiling set by the Philippine government.

    Earlier, he NFA Committee on Government­to­Government Procurement (CGGP) rejected initial offers from Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, which were way above the reference price for 100,000 MT of well­milled, long grain white rice—25 percent broken.

    Thailand offered $418 per MT, Vietnam offered $417, and Cambodia offered $464.

    During the second round, Thailand backed out of the bidding, saying that the Philippine government’s reference price was too low compared with the average price prevailing in the world market.

    Cambodia offered 50,000 MT at $455.50 per MT, while Vietnam offered 100,000 MT at $416.85 per MT – both offers were beyond the ceiling set by the NFA Council.

    The situation compelled the CGGP to call on the NFA Council for a decision.

    The NFA Council is chaired by Secretary Francis N. Pangilinan of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic Development Authority, NFA and a farmer’s representative as members.

    The council awarded the contract to Vietnam, citing that “under the terms of reference of the G2G importation, in the event that revised offers are submitted, these shall be evaluated on the basis of the lowest price.”

    The 100,000 MT of rice is part of the 250,000 MT that the NFA Council approved to buy under the recommendation of the Food Security Committee to head off the lean season when the supply of rice is traditionally low and prices are high. The shipment is expected to arrive in the country on August 15.

    NFA Administrator Renan Dalisay said the weighted average price for the 250,000 MT was $412.81 per MT while the average price for the rejected bids was $455 for Cambodia, $419 (Thailand), and $418 (Vietnam).

    “Taking this bid and comparing it to the average weighted price of $412.81 will show that we got a good price relative to the initial bid offers,” Dalisay said in a text message.

    The NFA chief said they are under pressure to make the rice imports available by July 1, the start of the lean season.

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