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Fertilizer prices remain elevated, PSA records show

/ 05:20 AM August 31, 2019

Fertilizer prices in all regions continued to rise from year-ago levels in July as palay rates dipped further, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

Based on its monthly monitoring report, prices of widely used fertilizers declined from month-ago levels but were still higher compared to levels in the same period last year.

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Urea posted the highest increase at an average price of P1,140.51 a sack, up 11.5 percent from last year.

Meanwhile, a sack of complete, which is a mix of three main plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash) was sold at an average of P1,150.77, up 3.6 percent from year-ago level.

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Prices of ammosul (ammonium sulfate fertilizer) and ammophos (a highly concentrated fertilizer composed of nitrogen and phosphor), rose by 4.6 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, to P627.75 and P995.65 a sack.

Notable increases in fertilizer prices were especially noted in the Bangsamoro region due to transport costs. Significant upticks in prices were reflected in rice-producing regions such as Central Luzon, Western Visayas and Cagayan Valley.

Prices of urea, complete and ammophos went up in all regions during the month. This development is especially alarming in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Isabela and Ilocos Norte where the farm gate price of palay has sank to P7 a kilogram.

While the four fertilizer variants exhibited decreases on a monthly basis by less than 1 percent, the rates are not sinking fast enough to enable local rice producers to stay afloat amid the tight competition in the market.

Federation of Free Farmers national manager Raul Montemayor said the government should have prepared farmers for the new rice regime before and not after the passage of the rice tariffication law, which allowed the unimpeded importation of more affordable rice by the private sector.

As rice farmers wait for the implementation of rice programs that are meant to tide them over the policy’s adverse effects, the Department of Agriculture is set to release a P1.5-billion loan fund in Sept. 1.

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TAGS: fertilizer, Philippine statistics authority, PSA
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