THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said its first-quarter estimate for production of palay, or unmilled rice, was 2.54 million metric tons, down 0.1% from a year earlier, when domestic farmers produced 4.62 million MT.
Its estimated for corn production in the first quarter was 2.54 million MT, up 2.6% from a year earlier, when farmers produced 2.48 million MT.
The decline in palay output coincided with the continued decline in the price of palay in the first month of implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, which calls for an expanded private-sector role in importing rice, which is expected to put pressure on retail prices as well as the prices realized by domestic farmers.
The average farmgate price of palay fell 0.77% week-on-week to P19.40 per kilogram (kg) in the first week of March, the PSA said Tuesday.
Well-milled rice at wholesale was unchanged at P41.13 per kg, while it averaged P44.45 at retail, down 0.29% week-on-week.
Regular-milled rice fell 0.05% week-on-week at wholesale to P37.59 per kg. At retail, prices fell 0.12% to P40.60.
The average farmgate price of yellow corn grain in the first week of March fell 1.01% week-on-week to P13.71 per kg.
Yellow corn grain at wholesale fell 1.45% week-on-week to P18.39 per kg, while the retail price rose 1.33% to P24.41.
At farmgate, white corn grain prices rose 0.34% week-on-week to P14.80 per kg.
White corn grain at wholesale fell 0.33% week-on-week to P21.13 per kg, while the average retail price was unchanged at P28.32. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio