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Philippines to import 500,000 tonnes of rice in March

According to the United States Agriculture department forecast, the Philippines may import 1.6mn tonnes of rice in 2015. (Image source: IRRI/Flickr)

The Philippines has announced that it will import 500,000 tonnes of rice in March 2015 to boost buffer stocks of the staple for the lean months

According a government official, the state grains procurement agency National Food Authority (NFA) wants the shipments to arrive in two batches of 200,000 tonnes and one batch of 100,000 tonnes.

The official revealed that the NFA might go for a government–to–government deal, similar to its transactions in 2014 with Vietnam and Thailand.

“Fresh demand from the Philippines could give a boost to falling rice prices in top producers and sellers such as Thailand and Vietnam, which are the country’s key suppliers. The Philippines usually buys rice early in the year to prepare for the lean harvest season that begins in July,” added the official.

The Southeast Asian nation bought more than 1.8mn tonnes of rice from Vietnam and Thailand after the typhoon Haiyan destroyed crops in November 2013, prompting the government to release supplies from state stockpiles for relief operations and to arrest the sharp increase in local retail prices.