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NFA awards 250K-MT rice imports

MANILA, Philippines - State-run National Food Authority (NFA) has officially awarded import rights to six Southeast Asian bidders for the 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice to boost the country’s dwindling buffer stock.

NFA said it has issued notice of award to the four companies from Vietnam, one from Singapore and one from Thailand which submitted the lowest bids for the procurement of the 250,000 MT during the bidding conducted last July 25.

“All the winning bidders were given notice of award yesterday. They would then comply with the submission of performance bond, after which they would be issued notice to proceed and the signing of contract follows,” NFA deputy administrator and Special Bids and Awards Committee chair Tomas Escarez said in a text message.

These bidders include Vietnamese Tan Long Group Joint Stock Co., Hiep Loi Food Joint Stock Co., Gia International Corp., and Vietnam Southern Food Corp., Singaporean company Olam International Ltd. and Thai Capital Cereals Co. Ltd.

Escarez said the companies should submit their performance bond as soon as possible to remain on track with the scheduled arrival of shipments.

Rice shall be delivered on a staggered basis from August to September, with a total of 120,000 MT expected to arrive this month and 130,000 MT to arrive in September.

Current NFA inventory can only last four days compared to its mandated buffer stock of 15 days at any given time.

The NFA must have at least a 30-day buffer stock to meet the requirements of victims of calamities and emergencies.

Based on computations, the 250,000 MT can only cover for additional seven days. At least 544,000 MT are needed to maintain the agency’s buffer stocking mandate.

The rice imports (25 percent broken, well-milled, long grain white rice) were divided into eight lots: six lots of 25,000 MT each and two lots of 50,000 MT each.

Reference price for the importation was set at $451.08 per MT based on the foreign exchange rate of $1 to P50.

The total amount of bids reached P$104.86 million or P5.2 billion, translating to savings of around $8 million or P400 million.

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