Rice prices continue to ease
Rice prices continued to decline as of the second week of October, although by a modest amount from the first week, as the harvest season and the arrival of cheaper rice imports continued to help stabilize prices.
The latest price monitoring report of the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the farm-gate price for palay declined by 3.16 percent from the previous week to P21.17 a kilo, although still higher by 13.03 percent from the average price a year ago.
Average wholesale prices of regular-milled and well-milled rice also decreased by 1.03 percent and 0.64 percent, respectively, to P42.20 a kilo and P45.16 a kilo. Compared to prices a year ago, these were higher by 18.34 percent and 15.38 percent.
Retail prices also declined, although at a slower pace from last week.
A kilo of regular-milled and well-milled rice were sold at P45.72 a kilo and P48.83 a kilo, respectively. These were lower by 0.33 percent and 0.35 percent from a week ago but higher by 20.22 percent and 15.68 percent from last year.
The departments of agriculture and of trade and industry have imposed suggested retail prices (SRPs) on rice starting last weekend and rice prices are expected to drop further thereafter.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on his Facebook page that the implementation of the SRPs would effectively solve rice hoarding and market speculation—two reasons that were seen as the major drivers for prices to spike as they resulted in the volatility of supplies and prices of the staple in the market.
Rice has been one of the major drivers of the country’s inflation this year with its contribution rising 10 times to 1 percentage point of the inflation rate, according to the Department of Finance.
Economic managers said the deregulation of rice imports was expected to tame prices further and reduce the inflation rate by 0.4 percentage point.
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