Rice prices decline by P2 per kilo

Rice prices have declined steadily since the last quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year, making rice more affordable for consumers.

Citing statistics from Philippine Statistics Authority, National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Renan Dalisay said well-milled rice wholesale prices went down by P1.74 per kilo in early 2015, from P40.57 per kilo in October 2014 to P38.83 in February this year.

“The lowest commercial rice price in the last quarter of last year registered at P40 per kilo. In my recent personal market inspection in Dinalupihan, Bataan the lowest commercial rice price I noticed was P31 per kilo,” Dalisay said during market visits in the municipalities of Dinalupihan in Bataan, Olongapo City, Castillejos, San Marcelino, San Narciso, and Iba in Zambales.

Dalisay observed that regular milled commercial rice was sold as low as P31.00 per kilogram in Bataan  while the well-milled variety was priced at an average of P40.00 per kilogram.

The NFA currently sells government rice at P27 per kilo for regular milled and P32 per kilo for well-milled rice.

Dalisay attributed the downward behavior of rice prices to the NFA’s increased and more efficient market participation. For the last two months of 2014, the NFA surpassed its distribution target  by 101,902 metric tons (MT) or 81 percent, from 126,279 MT to 228,181 MT  compared to the same period in 2013.

Lower prices due to adequate supply

The NFA distributes its rice through accredited retailers. It has also tapped parishes and selected local government units as distribution conduits, particularly during calamities.

“Another reason for the decline in retail prices in rice is the settling down of farm prices. We have noted of speculative palay buying by private traders last year, which drove farm prices up and naturally impacted on retail prices,” Dalisay said.

He also said that because there was adequate rice supply, traders tended to stop speculative palay pricing.

“The NFA now is able to buy palay at its support price of P17 per kilo because farm prices have settled down. While we are happy our farmers are making some money because of increased palay prices. We also need to cushion the impact on our consumers,” he added.

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