THE AVERAGE farmgate price of palay, or unmilled rice, resumed its upward path in the first week of December, rising 0.4% to P15.62 per kilogram (kg), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

According to PSA’s weekly palay and corn price update, the average wholesale price of well-milled rice rose 0.1%, week-on-week to P37.23, while retail prices fell 0.3% to P41.44.

The average wholesale price of regular-milled rice fell 0.2% week-on-week to P33.09 per kg, while retail prices fell 0.3% to P36.57.

The farmgate price of palay briefly increased before declining again in late November. However, on a year-on-year basis, it fell 22.3% in the first week of December. The recent bout of volatility has been described as a natural market adjustment before establishing a new normal value following the disruptions of 2019, when the price structure was upended by imports.

The Rice Tariffication Law, or Republic Act No. 11203, was signed in March, removing limits on the entry of imported rice, which have to pay a 35% tariff if imported from within Southeast Asia. The large volume of imports disrupted the domestic palay market, pressuring farm incomes.

The average farmgate price of yellow corn grain fell 0.5% week-on-week, to P11.92 per kg. The average wholesale price rose 1.2% to P21.30. The retail price rose 0.6% to P25.86.

The farmgate price of white corn grain averaged P13.24 per kg, up 0.8% week-on-week. The average wholesale price was unchanged at P17, while the average retail price increased 0.2% to P26.74. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang