MANILA Aug 11 Six international suppliers are
likely to bid for state contracts to ship up to 500,000 tonnes
of rice to the Philippines in a tender later this month, the
country's grains procurement agency said on Monday.
Prospective participants in the Aug. 27 tender are Vietnam's
state-owned exporters Vinafood 1 and Vinafood 2, South Korea's
LG International, and global commodities traders
Olam International Ltd, Louis Dreyfus and Archer
Daniels Midland Co, according to a list of groups which
bought bidding documents that was released by the Philippines'
National Food Authority (NFA).
The NFA has been flooding local markets with its rice stocks
following recent typhoons and spikes in retail prices for the
grain that pushed food inflation in the country to the highest
in more than five years.
The agency has allotted a budget of 10.3 billion pesos ($235
million) to import 25-percent broken, long grain, well-milled
white rice for delivery in three batches between September and
Based on the approved budget, the NFA is authorised to spend
up to 20,600 pesos ($469 dollar) per tonne, including delivery
and insurance costs.
Vietnam's 25-percent broken rice variety last week rose to
$440 a tonne, free-on-board at Saigon Port, from $415-$420 the
week before. The same variety from Thailand was quoted at $400
per tonne, FOB Bangkok.
Tight supplies after strong first-half export volumes have
held Vietnamese rice prices at their highest since early 2012,
providing a chance for Thailand to sell more of the grain at a
time when demand is strong.
Seeking to boost thin stockpiles currently estimated to be
five days less than the minimum 30-day buffer required from the
July to September lean months, the Philippines has authorised
the NFA to buy an extra 1 million tonnes of rice in the second
half of the year.
Total rice purchases this year by the Philippines could
exceed 2 million tonnes, the biggest in four years, with two big
deals totalling 1.3 million tonnes already won by Vietnam.
The buying spree puts the Southeast Asian country on track
to become the world's third biggest buyer of the grain this
year, based on estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
up from the No. 8 spot it held last year.
(Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Joseph Radford)