Vietnam promised to supply the Philippines with affordable rice, according to National Assembly of Vietnam President Vuong Dinh Hue.
Steady Rice Supply at Affordable Prices
House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez’s met with the National Assembly of Vietnam president, Vuong Dinh Hue on the eve of the 44th Asean Parliamentary Assembly in Jakarta Indonesia. Both discussed the Philippines’ possible rice importation in the coming months. Vietnam promised to provide the country with a steady supply of rice at economical prices.
“Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Sunday secured the commitment of Vietnam to provide the Philippines with a stable supply of rice at affordable prices in affirmation of the strong, friendly relations between the two countries,” said Romualdez’s office.
This meeting completes PH President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr’s concern about the country’s rice supply. There’s a shortage due to recent typhoons that caused severe damage, submerging most of the ready-to-harvest crops in water and mud. The El Niño season and India’s ban on rice export added to the rice supply dilemma.
According to the House Speaker’s office, Vietnam has been the Philippines’ major supplier of grain. However, the supply to the country might become limited due to other countries buying rice from Vietnam.
Vietnam’s commitment to a steady supply of rice will help elevate the country’s rice supply. Moreover, it will restrain probable price increase exacerbated by grapevines over likely shortages.
The Philippines will return the favour to Vietnam’s cordiality by providing it with particular products and materials it might need to fulfil its industries or consumers’ demand. Besides, the country is hoping to expand cooperation between parliaments, energy transition, and digital transformation.
Looming Price Increase
Recent typhoons and the El Niño season devasted hectares of rice fields surging the grain’s retail prices to ₱4 a kilo, according to the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI). Consumers will have to endure this increase until the middle of September, as palay price also continues to jump.
Once harvest seasons start, the price retail of rice will go down. In Central Luzon, farmers will start harvesting by the second week of September. The upward swing in the grain’s retail price is due to the high cost expenses of imported rice, specifically in Vietnam. It’s where the Philippines imports 90% of its rice supply.
“Based on our feedback from rice importers, Vietnam does not honour the previous contracts even (though) traders already gave a downpayment. Based on the data, imported rice from Vietnam is now at $540 per metric ton or about P30 to P32 per kilo. Early part of the year, it was only pegged between $420 and $440 per metric ton or about P23 to P24 per kilo landed cost,” said PCAFI president Danilo Fausto.
The current rice buffer stocks can last 30 to 45 days. However, to suffice the rice supply for up to 60 days, the country needs 1.5 million to 1.7 million metric tonnes.
Fausto added that the farmers don’t have palay stocks. Likewise, the supply is at the disposal of commercial traders. The president can interpose through the government-to-government transaction, securing the country with adequate supply.
Image Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas/WikimediaCommons