IN A SURPRISE MOVE yesterday, the government announced it would hold a tender for another 600,000 metric tons of rice on Dec. 8, just a week after an earlier auction for the same amount scheduled on Dec. 1.
This would bring the total rice the Philippines has moved to import to secure its 2010 stocks to 1.45 million MT, so far, which includes the 250,000 MT supply auctioned off last Nov. 4.
The three tranches of imports are expected to arrive between January and May next year.
The National Food Authority (NFA) said in a newspaper advertisement on Monday that sources for the Dec. 8 tender “shall be Thailand, Vietnam, China, Pakistan, Australia, United States and India.”
The world’s biggest rice buyer has turned aggressive in its purchases after it lost as much as 1.3 million MT of palay from strong typhoons that successively struck rice-growing areas in Luzon since late-September.