Private sector to bid for 500,000 MT of rice supply to PH

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The rice bidding comes amid the NFA's latest report on the country's crop output for 2018. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) — Twelve companies from Asia are vying to be the country's supplier of 500 thousand metric tons of rice. 

The National Food Authority (NFA) set a budget of 12.2 billion pesos for the importation and a provision saying that the rice should be freshly milled and harvested not longer than four months prior to shipping. 

The rice from the winning bidder is expected to arrive on December 31 this year and January 31, 2019 with 250,000 metric tons for each delivery. 

Among the interested companies in the list is Vinafood II from Vietnam, who withdrew from Tuesday's government-to-government procurement bidding. 

It remains unclear why Vinafood II pushed through with bidding for the country's rice supply however NFA clarified that the open-tender importation guidelines for the private sector differs from the government-to-government procurement process. Vietnam earlier cited conflict with the terms of reference or conditions of importation as their reason for rejecting the bid. 

The bidding for the new supply of rice comes amid the latest data on the country's agricultural output.  The NFA released a report Wednesday showing that the country's agricultural output rose by 0.15 percent from January to September 2018. The yields of the agriculture sector posted a gross value of ₱409 billion with current prices, a 6.82 percent increase from last year's figures. 

However, crop production suffered from a 3.64 percent decline. Rice and corn production bore the brunt of the decrease with a 5.7 percent and 14.83 percent drop respectively. Meanwhile, coconut, sugarcane, banana, pineapple, coffee mango, tobacco abaca tomato and rubber recorded output gains in this period. 

Crop earnings for the first nine months of the year amounted to ₱214.1 billion, a 1.93 percent increase from last year. Meanwhile, the gross output of crops from January to September 2018 went down by 1.38 percent, according to the study. 

Crop output shared 45.58 percent in the total agricultural output. 

NFA earlier maintained that rice prices will stabilize following the implementation of the suggested retail price in the market. The SRP sets prices of rice at ₱37 to ₱47 per kilogram. Its spokesperson Gerry Imperial said the yields of harvest season will also affect prices. 

"The prices in the market naman (are) really tapering off, it's going down it's because of the implementation of the suggested retail prices for now only six varieties of rice plus 'yung ating (our) harvest is being felt nationwide," Imperial said Tuesday.