The Philippines' state grains procurement agency on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for local traders to import up to 805,200 tonnes of rice under an annual quota scheme, which should boost domestic supply and keep rising prices in check.
The imports, which should be shipped in starting July, wouldbring total rice purchases approved this year to 1.3 million tonnes, including half-a-million tonnes that the National Food Authority (NFA) has bought to replenish its depleted buffer stock.
The Southeast Asian country, a frequent rice buyer, is seeking to stabilise retail prices of the national staple that
have risen by as much as 7 percent from a year ago amid the absence of the low-priced NFA supply in the local market.
Higher rice prices have added pressure to Philippine inflation, which accelerated in April to the highest in at least
The NFA expects its imports to start arriving this week.
Under the import guidelines posted on the NFA's website,
traders are allowed to import 25 percent broken white rice or a better variety, with a 35 percent tariff. Delivery should be completed by February next year.
The country-specific quota scheme allows traders to import up to 293,100 tonnes from Vietnam and the same volume from