MANILA, Philippines – The overall rice stocks in the country increased by 20.5% to 2.63 million metric tons (MMT) as of April 1 from a year ago, as the National Food Authority (NFA) saw a boost in inventory, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
The latest inventory is also 18.4% higher month-on-month. This much rice is deemed sufficient for around 82 days.
Despite the 14.4% year-on-year drop in household stocks to 1.18 MMT, this segment is still the largest contributor to the country's total inventory. From a monthly comparison, however, household inventory is still 13.9% higher.
Both commercial and NFA stocks also saw an improvement both from yearly and monthly comparisons.
Commercial stocks as of April 1 settled at 875,240 metric tons (MT), higher by 10.2% from a year ago and 25.8% from March.
The NFA's "aggressive" palay-buying scheme also led to a 4,609.3% jump in stocks from a year ago and 17.1% increase from March to 576,190 MT.
The improving performance of rice inventory is despite El Niño damaging P2.69 billion worth of rice or 125,589 MT as of March 31. The Department of Agriculture previously said El Niño would barely leave a dent in the country's overall rice production.
Corn stocks, which were also affected by El Niño, saw a jump in inventory as of April 1 at 614,000 MT. This is higher by 66.2% from a year ago and 54.6% from March.
The PSA, however, reported that agricultural performance in the first 3 months of 2019 further slowed to 0.67%, with the crops subsector posting an overall decline in output due to the dry spell. – Rappler.com