September 28, 2023
MANILA – The farm-gate price of palay (unmilled rice) averaged P22.16 per kilogram in August, an increase of 25.8 percent from P17.61 per kg in the same period a year ago.
In a report, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said all regions registered year-on-year growth rates in average farm-gate prices.
On a monthly basis, the farm-gate price rose by 14.3 percent from P19.38 per kg in July.“[This is] probably correct but there would have been very little palay being harvested in August since the dry season harvest is between March to May, and then farmers start planting again when the rains come in June or July,” Federation of Free Farmers national manager Raul Montemayor said when asked to comment on the PSA data.
“So the price estimate could have been for very limited palay that happened to be harvested in August,” he added.
Montemayor said the group is monitoring the effect of the National Food Authority’s (NFA) palay purchases and the decision to maintain tariffs on rice imports.
“Hopefully, palay prices will rebound as farmers are starting to harvest; they went down early to as low as P20 per kg for dry and P16 to P18 per kg wet after the price ceiling was imposed and the economic managers floated their proposal to reduce rice tariffs,” he added.
“Month-on-month, all regions recorded increases in the average farm-gate prices of palay,” the report said.
Caraga reported the highest growth rate at 31.6 percent while Central Visayas logged the lowest increase at 2.1 percent.
The farm-gate price is the selling price between farmers and traders largely dictated by the latter. In the Philippines, the retail price of rice is double that of the farm-gate price.
In Metro Manila, regular milled rice produced locally ranged from P40 to P42 per kg as of Wednesday compared to P38 per kg in the past year, according to the Department of Agriculture’s price monitoring.
Local well-milled rice is sold from P45 to P48 per kg against last year’s P41 per kg.
Regular milled rice sourced abroad is priced at P43 per kg, higher than P38 per kg last year.
Imported well-milled rice retailed from P45 to P48 per kg against P40 per kg previously.
At present, price ceilings of P41 per kg for regular milled rice and P45 for well-milled rice are in place by virtue of Executive Order No. 39 issued by President and Agriculture Secretary Marcos earlier.
The said directive, which took effect on Sept. 5, was meant to arrest the skyrocketing price of rice and penalize hoarding.
The NFA also announced a higher price range of P19 to P23 for dry and P16 to P19 for wet palay to improve the income of farmers and ensure ample supply of this staple food.
Previously, the buying rate stood at P16 per kg for wet and P19 per kg for dry while the selling price ranged from P23 to P27 per kg.