Palay prices inch up in November
Prices of palay finally inched up in November, although the increase was still not enough to offset the losses incurred by farmers during 11 months of decline.
Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest price monitoring report, the average farm-gate price of palay rose consecutively for the first three weeks of November to P15.52 a kilo from P15.44 a kilo—an 8-centavo increase.
The lowest quotation was recorded in Negros Occidental at P10.71 a kilo while the highest was in Surigao del Sur at P20.40 a kilo.
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said planters have already lost P61.77 billion due to the continuous drop in the farm-gate price, which hastened in recent months after rice imports ballooned to a record of 1.9 million metric tons.
Stakeholders have blamed the surge in rice imports as the culprit behind the double-digit decline in palay prices, brought by the enactment of the rice import liberalization law.
PhilRice noted that the losses could even skyrocket to P130 billion if the average buying price for the crop continued to fall below the current production costs.
Groups were expecting palay rates to dip further as the harvest season begins amid the continuous influx of imported rice. As a temporary solution, the Department of Agriculture has started imposing stricter measures before issuing import permits. INQ
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