Despite the looming effects of many factors, including Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain initiative, India’s ban on rice exports, and the El Niño phenomenon, the supply and demand of rice in the Philippines is stable, reported the Department of Agriculture during a recent press briefing.
“As of today, we are looking at a sound supply and demand,” DA Undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla stated.
Sombilla said that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., who also serves as the concurrent DA Secretary, has expressed concerns about the possible effects of the three major global issues on the Philippine agriculture sector. She added that they have discussed ways to reduce the further effects of the three global issues that are “now unfolding”, emphasizing that the DA is prepared to increase rice production in the Philippines.
“We are prepared. The production for up to the second quarter, we have something like 39 days of stocks and then will continue. The DA has already prepositioned ways by which we could really increase production,” said Sombilla.
She further stated, “The biggest rice production will still come sometime, if not end of September, sometime in October. So we will be beefing up our supply, and of course, the usual supply that we will be also getting from imports.”
According to Sombilla, the price of rice in the market could be attributed to the effects of the increase in prices of fertilizer and fuel cost, both of which are still fluctuating primarily due to the Black Sea Grain initiative. Sombilla stated that while there is unstable movement in the Black Sea Grain initiative, it will cause a “very minimal effect” on the Philippine market, similar to the effect on the decision of India to ban rice exports.
However, Sombilla also emphasized that a problem may emerge, depending on how other exporting countries would respond to global events. The DA is closely monitoring developments, Sombilla stated.