PRICE GROWTH in farm produce and fisheries products slowed in the first quarter, according to indices released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In a report, the PSA said that the producer price index (PPI) for agriculture rose 21.7% in the three months to March, retreating from the 24.7% posted in the fourth quarter of 2022. On a year-on-year basis, the growth rate in the fourth quarter remains significantly higher than the 5.6% reported for year-earlier period.

The PPI for crops showed a deceleration in price growth to 28.5% from 32.3% a quarter earlier.

Slower year-on-year price increases were noted in cereals (7% from 9%), root crops (12.1% from 18.1%), fruit vegetables (3.3% from 3.5%), leafy vegetables (26.5% from 29.4%) and commercial crops (51.6% from 60.4%).

On the other hand, growth rates accelerated in beans and legumes (23.6% from 17%) and fruit (7.1% from 3.9%).

Condiments posted year-on-year price growth of 52.2%, reversing a 24.9% decline in the fourth quarter.

The PSA said growth in fisheries prices was 12.6%, accelerating from 5.4% previously, led by aquaculture products and commercial fish where price growth was 20% and 21.1%, respectively.

Slower year-on-year growth rates was noted in marine municipal fisheries (1.5%), while prices declined 1.6% for inland municipal fisheries. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera