Manila Bulletin

Bil­lion Thai­land, Viet­nam split 750,000-MT rice im­ports

To­tal cost placed at

- By MADE­LAINE B. MIRAFLOR Business · Thailand · Vietnam · Philippines · National Food Authority · Quezon City · Quezon, Bukidnon · F.C. Internazionale Milano · National Economic and Development Authority

As part of the coun­try’s prepa­ra­tion for what could be the worst El Niño to hit the Philip­pines since 1997 to 1998, the gov­ern­ment has se­cured as much as 750,000 met­ric tons (MT) of rice im­ports for 14.87 bil­lion through a new state to state deal with Thai­land and Viet­nam.

The Na­tional Food Au­thor­ity (NFA) con­cluded yesterday the bid­ding for the im­por­ta­tion of 250,000 MT of well-milled rice with 25 per­cent bro­kens for this year and 500,000 MT of the same rice va­ri­ety for next year. The rice va­ri­ety was priced at US$426.83 per MT.

Only Thai­land and Viet­nam par­tic­i­pated in the bid­ding, which was led by NFA’s Com­mit­tee on Gov­ern­mentto-Gov­ern­ment Pro­cure­ment (CGGP) yesterday in Que­zon City.

Ini­tially, both gov­ern­ments didn’t meet the ref­er­ence price set by NFA but they were given a chance to re­vise their of­fers.

Viet­nam even­tu­ally won the bid­ding af­ter de­cid­ing to sell 450,000 MT of rice for US$191.97 mil­lion. Its of­fer price was set at US$426.60 per MT.

In or­der to com­plete the 750,000 MT re­quire­ment of the gov­ern­ment, Thai­land were given a chance to match the price set by Viet­nam for the re­main­ing 300,000 MT.

Thai­land then matched the of­fer price of the other gov­ern­ment and agreed to sell 300,000 MT of rice im­ports for US$127.98 mil­lion.

The first set of rice im­ports or the 125,000 MT will be de­liv­ered in Novem­ber, while the next 125,000 MT is due for de­liv­ery by the end of De­cem­ber.

For next year’s ship­ments, the ad­di­tional 370,000 MT will be di­vided in two parts and will be brought to the coun­try by the end of Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary, while re­main­ing 150,000 MT will be de­liv­ered by the end of March.

"We should ex­pect a no­tice of award in the next three days for [this G to G pro­cure­ment]," NFA-CGGP vice chair­per­son Pa­tri­cia Galang-De Je­sus said af­ter the event.

In­ter-agency Food Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee (FSC), chaired by the Na­tional Eco­nomic and De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity, is the one that gives NFA the au­thor­ity to pro­ceed with the im­por­ta­tion.

“FSC rec­om­men­da­tion is a re­sult of the as­sess­ment made by an In­ter­a­gency El Niño Task Force on the im­pact of the El Niño in the lo­cal rice pro­duc­tion,” a state­ment said.

FSC ear­lier said “there is no bet­ter op­tion than be­ing pre­pared” against im­pacts of El Niño.

El Niño is pre­dicted to worsen be­gin­ning Oc­to­ber this year and will last un­til May 2016.

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