Philippines seeking 203,000 tonnes of rice from state sellers

November 9, 2018 - 4:39 PM
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Volunteer operating crane lifter
A volunteer operates a crate lifter to carry sacks of rice for victims of Super Typhoon Mangkhut at the Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Relief Operations Center in Pasay City, Metro Manila, in Philippines, September 17, 2018. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

HAMBURG — The Philippines‘ National Food Authority has issued a new international tender to state-owned agencies only to purchase up to 203,000 tonnes of rice, European traders said on Thursday.

The rice is sought for December arrival.

The new tender continues a recent surge in rice purchasing by the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Oct. 9 scrapped 20-year-old import restrictions on rice to combat soaring prices by increasing domestic supplies. Rising rice prices have contributed to increased inflation in the country.

The authority on Nov. 1 also issued a separate tender to both private trading companies and state sellers to buy up to 500,000 tonnes of rice closing on Nov. 20.

Traders said the new tender for 203,000 tonnes involved offers being submitted on Nov. 13 to Nov. 14. “The precise date is unclear so far,” a trader said.

A previous tender from the Philippines issued to state sellers only ended without success when Vietnam and Thailand declined to offer.

The new 203,000-tonne tender seeks well milled, long grain white rice of 25 percent broken grade. It is sought in sacks in break-bulk shipment.

Some 50,000 tonnes was sought for arrival in the Philippines by Dec. 15 and 153,000 tonnes by Dec. 31.

Unloading is sought in a series of ports in the Philippines.

“The Philippines, although in need of rice is being tough on prices which has made it difficult to agree purchases lately,” one European trader said. “But 12 rice trading houses attended the pre-bidding meeting for the private tender for 500,000 tonnes which closes on Nov. 20 so I think there is good interest among private sellers.” — Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Mark Potter