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‘Prices of rice, eggs in upward trend’

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
�Prices of rice, eggs in upward trend�
Egg vendors arrange their products for sale at a store along Blumentritt in Manila on January 26, 2023.
STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The upward trend in retail prices of eggs and rice continues as the cost of other farm products, particularly vegetables, chicken and pork remains stable amid the increase in the demand this holiday season, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) chairman Rosendo So said yesterday.

Based on monitoring of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Metro Manila markets, medium-sized eggs are sold for as high as P8.80 per piece.

On the other hand, the retail price of local regular milled rice went as high as P52 per kilo; local well-milled rice, P55 per kilo; local premium rice, P60 per kilo; and local special rice, P68 per kilo.

Imported well-milled rice was sold at P52 per kilo; imported premium rice, P62 per kilo and imported special rice, P65 per kilo.

So said that the farmgate price of chicken and pork was lower compared to the cost in the same period last year.

For his part, United Broiler Raisers Association and Philippine Egg Board chairman Gregorio San Diego said the farmgate price of chicken went down starting Nov. 25 after a slight increase in the past two weeks.

San Diego said the average farmgate price as of Dec. 1 was at 95 per kilo after it went up to P114 per kilo on Nov. 16.

Based on the price watch of the DA, the retail price of whole chicken ranged between P140 and P220 per kilo.

The retail price of pork shoulder ranged between P250 and P340 per kilo, and pork belly or liempo between P280 and P400 per kilo.

Meanwhile, So proposed a random check on the sizes of eggs to determine if the vendors are selling based on the right weight amid allegations of manipulation of retailers to get more profit.

“A random check can be done to determine if we are buying the right sizes,” So said.

Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines and Egg Council of the Philippines chairperson and AGAP party-list Rep. Nicanor Briones has suggested selling eggs per kilo as retailers often change the sizes instead of the actual price.

“One kilo of small-sized eggs is equivalent to seven pieces,” So said.

He added that many consumers do not need as much as one kilo of eggs.

Based on data from UBRA, a small-sized egg weighs 50 to 54 grams; medium-sized egg, from 55 to 59 grams; large-sized egg, between 60 and 64 grams; extra large, between 60 and 64 grams; and jumbo, 70 grams and above.

San Diego has said that the retail price of eggs is expected to go down starting January 2024 after holiday demand tapers off.

Valiant Primary Multi-purpose Cooperative asked DA to determine the stocks at cold storage facilities amid the decision of the agency to import 21,000 metric tons of red and white bulbs as retail price reached as high as P220 per kilo.

In a radio interview, Valiant Primary Multi-purpose Cooperative manager Luchie Cena said that there are still stocks at the cold storage facilities, adding that the DA through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) should only import what is needed, as the local harvest of onions will start next month.

BPI said that the 21,000 metric tons of imported onions should arrive on or before Dec. 31.

“The DA should visit all the storage facilities to determine when these stocks can supply the market and the volume of the gap. The importation could overlap the expected harvest in January (2024) and we are about to harvest white onions,” she noted.

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