DA chief expects decline in palay farm-gate prices
The delayed arrival of rice imports from Vietnam and Thailand is seen to affect the farm-gate price of palay “drastically” as its release will coincide with the harvest season, the country’s agriculture chief said.
The prospect of rice flooding the market—both from imports and local produce—may depress the buying price for palay which breached the P21-a-kilo mark for the first time in nearly two years.
“While this is a welcome relief to the consumers who have complained of rising prices of rice in the market, this could be a sad development for the country’s rice farmers who have, for the first time in the history of the industry, enjoyed good returns from their farms,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a Facebook post.
To recall, the delay in the arrival of the imports is the “main factor” behind the spike in the retail prices of rice.
Since the start of January, rice prices have been on an upward trend and has not declined since. As of the third week of July, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed regular-milled and well-milled rice were priced at an average of P41.27 and P44.98 a kilo, up by 8.89 percent and 7.27 percent from a year ago.
Due to disagreements between the NFA management and its policy-making body on rice importation, the purchase of imported rice was held up and had resulted in the depletion of the agency’s stocks.
Supposedly, imports should be distributed in the market in time for the country’s lean months or when the supply of rice is low.
For the first and second quarter of the year, the average buying price for palay has increased by 8.14 percent and 13.44 percent to P19.76 per kg and P21.75 per kg, respectively.
Based on PSA data, this was the highest recorded average farm-gate price of palay since 2015, when the country’s palay production decreased due to the El Niño dry spell.
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