THE average farmgate price of palay or unmilled rice rose 2.1% month on month to P18.57 per kilogram in March, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

This brought the first-quarter average to P18.17 per kilo, an increase of 3.9% from the fourth quarter, according to the PSA.

“Compared with the P17.43 average price per kilogram in the first quarter of 2022, this quarter’s average farmgate price of palay registered an annual increase of 4.2%,” the PSA said in its preliminary report.

“The highest average farmgate price for this quarter was recorded in Ilocos Region at P19.81 per kilogram, while the lowest was recorded in Caraga at P16.91 per kilogram,” it added.

The palay farmgate price rose 6.5% year on year, with all regions reporting price increases.

“All regions recorded positive year-on-year growth rates in March 2023. Ilocos Region posted the highest annual increase of 11.6%, while Northern Mindanao registered the lowest year-on-year increment of 0.5%,” the PSA said.

Ilocos Region farmgate prices during the period rose to P20.83 per kilo from P19.58 in February and P18.67 a year earlier.

The average farmgate price in Cordillera Administrative Region grew 10.3% year on year to P18.87.

Farmgate prices in Cagayan Valley climbed 11.4% year on year to P19.38.

Eastern Visayas farmgate prices were at P16.49, up 8.3% year on year. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera