Traders warn of higher rice prices
Traders warn that rice prices will rise during the lean harvest period and following the delayed shipments of imported rice.
As the summer palay (unhusked rice) harvest season draws to a close and the lean rice months are fast approaching, prices of the country’s staple grain have started to rise.
Rose Dalangin, president of Golden City Business Park, said farmgate prices of newly harvested palay now range from P19 to P20.50, while the ready-to-mill clean and dry palay are priced at an average of P22 to P23.50, depending on quality and variety.
At these price ranges, she said that wholesale prices of milled rice might be around P1,850 to P2,000 per sack. The prices may go higher if milling recovery rate falls short of 60 percent.
This would translate into a wholesale price of P37 to P40 per kilo depending on quality and variety of rice, which would be sold by retailers with an additional average mark-up of P4 to P6, driving retail prices to P41-P46 per kilo.
Dalangin said the higher prices might favor the farmers but not the majority of Filipino consumers.
Raul Montemayor, Federation of Free Farmers manager, and Cecil Chavez-Custudio, former Butil Farmers party-list representative, agreed with her observations.
Montemayor said the COVID-19 pandemic affected the arrival of imported rice, which forced local traders to raise the prices of palay.
As of now, only the National Food Authority is selling cheap rice to consumers in the local market at P27 per kilo. However, the agency only sold its supply to local government units and the Department of Social Welfare and Development for their relief operations during the enhanced community quarantine.
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