May 11, 2020 / 1:05 AM / 18 days ago

Philippines ramping up rice imports to boost stockpile amid pandemic

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines government is seeking a 300,000-tonne rice supply deal from Asia’s biggest grain producers to boost state stockpiles while battling the coronavirus and ahead of the lean domestic harvest season, a senior official said on Monday.

The government-to-government deal will bring the Philippines’ total rice imports this year to a record-high 3 million tonnes, including the 2.7 million tonnes already contracted since January.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the Philippine government has already sent communications to Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Cambodia, seeking availability of a 300,000-tonne rice supply.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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