In its regular update on palay, rice and corn prices, PSA said the current average wholesale price of well-milled rice is P37.32 per kilogram as of the end of December.
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Farm gate palay prices end 22% lower in 2019
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Prices of Filipinos’ main staple ended 2019 on a low note with consumers saving more and farmers earning less following the influx of imported rice.

Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed consistent lower prices until the end of 2019 after the Philippines opened its rice industry to more private sector imports.

In its regular update on palay, rice and corn prices, PSA said the current average wholesale price of well-milled rice is P37.32 per kilogram as of the end of December.

This is 11 percent lower than the P41.96 per kilo last year but 0.3 percent up on a weekly basis. The average retail price decreased by 8.5 percent to P41.52 per kilo.

The wholesale price of regular-milled rice also declined by 15 percent to P33.05 per kilo while the  average retail price was P36.60 a kilo.

While consumers are benefitting from the opening up of the market, local farmers are suffering from declining palay farm gate prices.

The average farm gate price of palay is nowhere near recovery at P15.63, down 0.2 percent on a weekly basis.

The current price is 22.4 percent lower than the P20.14 per kilo in 2018. It is also lower than the P19.40 per kilo last March when the rice liberalization law took effect.

The lower farm gate price is caused by the just concluded main harvest season and is even exacerbated by imports flooding the commercial market.

Total rice inventory stood at 3.09 million metric tons (MT) as of the end of December, 14 percent higher than last year.

The current inventory is also five percent higher than the previous month’s 2.96 million MT.

Under the rice tariffication law, quantitative restrictions on rice importation are lifted and private traders are allowed to import the commodity from countries of their choice.

The rice tariffication law replaced the government’s quantitative restrictions on importation of the staple with a 35 percent tariff.

The measure also created the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund or a special rice buffer fund, with an initial P10-billion annual fund, to ensure rice production competitiveness.

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