Philippine rice stocks forecast to close 2020 at record high

12 May 2020

RicefarmThe Philippines will likely end 2020 with a rice inventory totaling at 3.3 million tonnes, said a government official on Tuesday. 

The world’s biggest rice importer has accelerated acquisitions of its primary grains, in a bid to lift domestic output. 

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, an inventory of such magnitude would be the Philippine’s largest year-end stockpile in a decade. 

"Going into the lean months and onto December 31, 2020, we have enough supply of food, and that includes our major staple – rice," Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement. 

The lean months are usually identified as July through to September, when local rice harvest is usually at a low.

The estimated year-end inventory has the potential of covering national consumption for up to 94 days, he said. 

The forecast includes the 300,000-tone rice imports currently being undertaken by the Philippine government. This is the first time the state has done so since the nation abolished 20-year-old quantitative restrictions on rice imports last year. 

The additional rice imports would push up total imports in the Southeast Asian country to a recrd high of 3 million tonnes, surpassing last year’s acquisitions calculated at roughly 2.9 million tonnes.