Quantcast

Amira rice shipment intended for Indonesia?

WERE the 420,000 sacks of Indian rice “originally intended for Indonesia” but “only temporarily warehoused in the Subic Freeport for transshipment to a final buyer,” as claimed by Amira C Foods, DMCC (Inquirer, 8/13/12)? To answer the question here are the salient points to factor in:

1. The shipment was reportedly seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in May 15, 2012, after President Aquino “tipped off” the BOC about it. The cargo was then auctioned off on Oct. 17, 2012, for P487.2 million (but under a trust or escrow arrangement) which translates to $565/ton, or $403/ton net of the 40-percent duty slapped on imports outside the 500,000 tons approved by the NFA Rice Council in March for 2012 importation.

The $403/ton-pricing approximates the $410/ton-price for India’s 25-percent brokens rice grade in October 2012, up from $379/ton and $395/ton in March and February, respectively, which rice classification accounts for nearly all of the Philippines’ historical rice procurement. Clearly, if the cargo were of the high-priced Basmati variety (of which Amira is noted for),  proceeds could have more than doubled as the world price hovers at the $1,000/ton-level against the $400/ton of 25-percent brokens.

2. The diversion of the Vietnam-registered MV Vinalines Mighty from its original sea voyage destination (Jakarta) to Subic appears to be unwise if not costly, as Malaysia and Singapore are closer to Indonesia’s Tanjong Priok port than to Subic port. Besides, Amira maintains offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Moreover, in rice-importing countries west, northwest or south of Subic like Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Brunei, the preference is for high-quality rice—not the kind that was on board Vinalines Mighty. Bangladesh, Iran or Iraq, possible alternate markets, are too far away from Subic, with the narrow Malacca Straits, the vast Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to traverse. The Philippines in our view is the only logical  market for the “Amira shipment.”

3. We agree that as a supplier of the “World Food Program,” an agency under the United Nations, Amira has a reputation and a franchise to protect. But Amira appears to be affiliated with Amira Nature Foods Limited (ANFI, whose shares of stocks are listed and traded in the New York Stock Exchange) and with the New Delhi-based Amira Foods India Limited with offices in the following countries: the United States (Amira Foods Inc.), the United Kingdom (Amira G Foods Ltd); Malaysia (Amira Foods Sdn. Bhd), Singapore (Amira Foods Pte Ltd) and the United Arab Emirates (Amira C Foods International DMCC).

Until the Department of Finance and the BOC disclose to the public the trust agreement in its entirety, and until the legal ownership of the rice shipment is settled, the Subic shipment will never be a closed case. And P-Noy, the top-ranked whistle-blower in this case, may not see the proceeds end up in government coffers during his six-year term. The proceeds could be a “milestone” in the nation’s struggle to stay on the “daang matuwid.”

—MANUEL Q. BONDAD,

manuelbondad@yahoo.com


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Other Stories:

No related posts found!

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=43469

Tags: amira rice shipment , letters



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Pimentel wants Balikatan-type drills for PNP
  • Palace renews appeal for plane passengers to test for MERS—CoV
  • 2 teenagers killed in Mlang, North Cotabato
  • No sympathy from North Korea over ferry disaster
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace