PRODUCTION of palay, or unmilled rice, rose 2.6% year on year to 5.02 million metric tons (MT) in the first quarter, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“Year on year, this quarter’s palay production when deseasonalized was higher by 157.01 thousand (MT) or by 3.2% compared with the previous year’s same quarter level of 4.87 million (MT),” the PSA said.

The PSA said the seasonally adjusted farmgate price of palay was P17.49 per kilogram, down 4.7% from the previous quarter.

“On the contrary, compared with its previous year’s same period farmgate price of P17.25 per kilogram, the deseasonalized average farmgate price for this quarter expanded by 1.4%,” it said.

In a separate report, the PSA said that the farmgate price of dry palay in February rose 2.7% year on year to P18.19 per kilogram.

On a month-on-month basis, prices rose 2.6% compared to January.

“The highest farmgate price of palay in February 2023 was recorded in Ilocos Region at P19.58 per kilogram, while the lowest was registered in Calabarzon at P16.84 per kilogram,” the PSA said.

The Eastern Visayas posted the highest year-on-year growth rate at 25.7%.

“The highest month-on-month growth was recorded in Caraga at 8.6%,” the PSA said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera