PRICES of agricultural goods rose 9.6% in 2023, led by the crops and fisheries sub-indices, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

In its agriculture producer price index (PPI) report, the PSA said that the 2023 reading represented a slowdown from the 17.9% rise in 2022.

During the fourth quarter, the farm PPI fell 3.1% from a year earlier, after having grown 29.7% in 2022 and 7.9% during the third quarter.

Northern Mindanao posted the strongest rise in agriculture PPI for 2023 at 16.8%, while Zamboanga Peninsula lagged at 0.3%.

The Bicol Region posted a 3.4% decline in farm prices during the year.

The crops sub-index rose 13.5% in 2023, slowing from the 20.8% reported a year earlier.

Cereals and root crop prices rose 10.8% and 17.4%, respectively. Fruits posted price growth of 4%, while commercial crop prices rose 15.8%.

Condiments posted 68.9% price growth in 2023, reversing the 20.6% decline a year earlier.

The PSA said that fisheries prices rose 0.9%, slowing from the 8.6% posted the prior year, as prices fell starting in the second quarter.

Price growth in aquaculture products was 4%, while commercial fisheries increased 2.3%. Prices of marine municipal fisheries products rose 0.3%.

Prices of inland municipal fisheries products fell 19%.

Meanwhile, livestock and poultry prices fell 1.2% in 2023. — Adrian H. Halili