The Philippines experienced a further decline in rice and corn stocks in March, signaling potential price increases and adding pressure to inflation.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the country’s rice stocks dropped to 1.408 million tons, representing a 7.5% decrease from the previous month and a 13.7% drop from the previous year.
The rice inventory of the National Food Authority, a state-owned entity, saw a 34% year-on-year decline, amounting to 103,070 tons, which is barely sufficient to meet the country’s consumption needs for three days.
Traders’ rice stocks also diminished, declining by 8.7% from the previous month and 19% from the previous year, reaching 494,250 tons.
In March 2023, farmers held 811,520 tons of rice stocks, reflecting a 6.2% year-on-year decrease or a 7.5% decline from February 2023.
Regarding corn, stocks amounted to 317,860 tons in March 2023, a 29% year-on-year decrease or a 13.2% decline from February levels. Traders’ corn stocks amounted to 239,800 tons, down 27% year-on-year or 17.7% from February.
Farmers’ corn stocks rose 3.9% to 78,060 tons, a but still 33.9% lower than the reported 118,170 tons a year ago.
Rice is a staple for Filipino households nationwide, while corn is primarily used as animal feed.