The Philippines Department of Agriculture has begun negotiations with Vietnam and India with the government expected to lower rice prices across the country. Philippines received lower export quotations from Vietnam and hopes to achieve the same with India.
Domingo Panganiban, Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary, said Vietnamese exporters have quoted rice prices that are $30 – $40 lower to Filipino private traders. It will also work with the Government of India to allow export of rice to the country on humanitarian grounds. Panganiban says this will pave the way for the country to get better terms for the additional 300,000 to 500,000 metric tons rice importation for 2023.
It will help lower prices and bolster Philippines’ national inventory, which even without importation is set to last 52 to 57 days. President Bongbong Marcos recently met with DA officials and traders at Malacanang to address issues on Philippines’ rice supply. He said the rice situation is manageable and stable. There’s enough rice for the Philippines up to and after the El Nino next year. To bolster Philippines’ rice stock, the government is keen to import 1.3 million metric tons, but the dates of import are yet to be set.
A farmers group in Nueva Ecija highlighted that retail prices of rice are going up despite being considered as “Rice Granary of Philippines”. Dan Alfaro, Bongabon East Farmers and Fisheries Service Cooperative chairman, said retail prices of rice ranged between P52 and P60 per kilo. He said the farmers have no control on the retail price of rice after they sell their harvest to traders.
It should be noted that the Philippines is one of the world’s biggest rice producers, but it buys from major suppliers like Thailand and Vietnam to help fill production gaps caused by typhoons.