Manila will import an additional 200,000 metric tons of rice from Vietnam this year to address the rise in grains prices and boost government buffer stocks during the lean months, the Presidential Adviser on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization said.
In a text message, Secretary Francis Pangilinan said the NFA decided to import the additional volume following a meeting with President Benigno Aquino 3rd over the rising prices of agricultural commodities in recent weeks.
The proposed order of an extra 200,000 MT of rice, on top of the previously approved 800,000 MT for 2014, is expected to arrive by July this year.
Pangilinan said that they would exercise a provision under the Procurement Act allowing the National Food Authority to place a repeat order not exceeding 25 percent of the original volume.
“It was part of the volume bid out last April. It will be a repeat order not exceeding 25 percent that is allowed under the procurement law,” he said. Earlier this week, the additional amount to be imported was reported as 250,000 MT, but the amount was corrected to comply with the repeat order provision.
Pangilinan also said that the NFA would have to renegotiate the price and cargo handling for the additional volume order.
To recall, the NFA procured 800,000 MT of rice from Vietnam in April. Of the total volume the Vietnam Northern Food Corp. (Vinafood I) was awarded a contract for 200,000 MT at a price of $436 to $439 per MT, while Vietnam Southern Food Corp. (Vinafood II) received the contract for 600,000 MT at $436.50 to $439.25 per MT.
The bid offers were significantly lower than the $477.28 per metric ton ceiling set by the NFA, which included the cost of cargo, insurance, freight (CIF); delivered, duties unpaid (DDU); and free on warehouse (FOW) prices.