NFA sets new bidding for rice imports

MANILAThe National Food Authority (NFA) will conduct another bidding for the 250,000 metric tons of rice that it intends to import this year through the government-to-government (G2G) mode.

The NFA reached the decision, as it noted that the price offers of Thailand and Vietnam had exceeded the reference prices that it used in its earlier bidding.

"The bidding was a failure due to non-compliance with our reference prices, so we'll hold a new bidding," NFA Deputy Administrator for Marketing Operations Judy Carol Dansal said in a press briefing on Friday.

The new bidding would still be open to public scrutiny, Dansal said, as the NFA would soon announce its date and venue.

The NFA official said the rice agency would send invitations to embassies, so governments interested in making offers could prepare accordingly.

NFA would also determine the reference prices for the new bidding, she said.

Reference prices change, depending on the foreign exchange rate and other factors, she noted.

Dansal said the NFA must conduct another bidding as soon as possible, since the agency is sticking to its target of having the rice imports in the country not later than June 30 this year.

"With the forthcoming bidding, we're positive about finally getting the stocks we're trying to purchase," she said.

Earlier, the NFA proposed to use the G2G mode in importing rice. It said such mode is faster than the government to private (G2P) mode, since governments are directly negotiating with each other.

Created in 1972 as the National Grains Authority, the NFA is the government-owned and -controlled corporation tasked with providing the country with an adequate supply of affordable rice and corn while ensuring reasonable returns for Filipino farmers.

The NFA plans to import in the middle of this year 200,000 metric tons of well-milled, long-grain rice, with 25 percent broken grains, and 50,000 metric tons of rice with 15 percent broken grains.

In its first bidding, the NFA set a reference price of USD474.18 per metric ton of rice with 25 percent broken grains and USD483.63 per metric ton for rice with 15 percent broken grains.

The agency said Thailand had bid to supply 120,000 metric tons with 25 percent broken grains, while Vietnam offered to supply 100,000 metric tons with 25 percent broken grains at USD532 per metric ton and 50,000 metric tons with 15 percent broken grains at USD540 per ton.

Both countries' offers exceeded the NFA's reference prices, so the agency conducted another round of bidding also on Friday.

The NFA noted Thailand's second bid was USD520 per metric ton, while Vietnam's was USD521 per metric ton for rice with 25 percent broken grains and USD530 per ton for rice with 15 percent broken grains.

The bids still exceeded NFA's reference prices, forcing the agency to conduct a new bidding.

The NFA rice with 25 percent broken grains is sold in the local market as regular-milled rice at PHP27 per kilogram.

The NFA rice with 15 percent broken grains is sold nationwide as well-milled rice at PHP32 per kilogram.

These prices are lower than those of commercial rice. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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