The Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics reported that as of January 1, the country’s total rice inventory reached 2.66 million metric tons, up 25.2 percent from 2.13 million MT last year.
The inventory is enough to last until the next harvest season, but stocks at government depositories fell slightly, below the required minimum buffer stock.
“The total rice inventory for this month would be sufficient for 78 days. Stocks in the households would be sufficient for 39 days. Those in commercial warehouses would be enough for 24 days, and in NFA depositories for 15 days,” PSA-BAS said.
But the National Food Authority last week admitted that their stocks were only enough to last 13 days.
The state-run grains agency is required by law to have at least 15-day buffer stock at any given time, and 30-day buffer stock during lean months.
To replenish its inventory, the NFA is looking at buying cheaper imported rice before the start of the lean season (June to August). It has also embarked on massive buying operations nationwide.
Based on the PSA-BAS report, around 49.8 percent of this January’s total rice stock inventory were with the households, 30.5 percent in commercial warehouses and 19.7 percent in NFA depositories, which is composed of 96.7 percent imported rice.
For corn, stock inventory was pegged at 184,000 MT as of January 2015, or 9 percent higher than the 168,800 MT a year ago.
Around 52.9 percent of this month’s total corn stock inventory was with the commercial warehouses, 46.2 percent were with the households and 0.9 percent were with the NFA depositories.
Corn is the country’s second most important crop next to rice, and serves as main staple of 14 million Filipinos.