Even higher rice prices on the horizon
Consumers may have to further tighten their belts as the confluence of unfavorable global events is expected to jack up the price of rice in retail markets, dampening hopes that the Marcos administration will make good on its campaign promise to make this staple food affordable for all, according to agricultural groups.
Raul Montemayor, national manager of Federation of Free Farmers, projected rice prices to soon rise by P4 to P5 per kilogram.
“The 20 percent export tax of India will raise their export price by about P4 per kilo. Palay prices will have to increase by P3 per kilo for farmers to recover additional costs for fertilizer and fuel,” Montemayor told the Inquirer in a message.
As of Friday, locally produced regular milled rice in Metro Manila was sold for P38 per kg, unchanged from a year prior, based on the Department of Agriculture’s price monitoring.
Well-milled retailed for P40 per kg, down from P42 per kg. Premium and special rice were priced at P45 per kg and P50 per kg, also unchanged.
The price of imported regular milled rice was P38 per kg while that of well-milled rice decreased to P39 per kg from P43 per kg. Imported premium and special rice, on the other hand, were priced at P45 per kg and P50 per kg, previously P48 per kg and P50 per kg. These prices, however, are not expected to stay there for long.
India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, restricted its exports by levying a 20-percent tariff on paddy, brown and white rice that is neither basmati nor parboiled rice.
Montemayor said that aside from India’s curtailment of rice exports, Thailand and Vietnam’s plan to raise rice prices in the global market, coupled with the weakening of the Philippine peso, will eventually translate to a substantial rice price hike.
“It will definitely lead to higher import prices together with the peso depreciation. This can raise domestic prices, to the disadvantage of consumers, but also allow farmers to recover from higher fertilizer, fuel and production costs,” Montemayor said.
A report by Nikkei Asia said Thailand and Vietnam would meet next month to discuss their agricultural cooperation, including rice export prices. In September, both countries agreed to increase prices as their producers have been grappling with rising costs of producing rice due to higher fertilizer and fuel costs. INQ
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