THE AVERAGE farmgate price of palay, or unmilled rice, rose 0.3% during the first week of May to P18.45 per kilogram (kg), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The PSA said the average wholesale price of well-milled rice fell 0.4% to P39.55 per kg compared with the previous week. At retail, it also fell 0.5% week-on-week to P43.30.

The average price of regular-milled rice, fell both at wholesale and retail. The wholesale price fell 0.5% week-on-week to P36 per kg during the period. At retail, the price fell 0.5% to P38.97 per kg.

Meanwhile, the farmgate price of yellow corn grain during the same period increased 0.1% week-on-week to P14.22 per kg. Its average wholesale price was unchanged at P20.26 per kg and the retail price fell 0.1% to P24.89 per kg.

The average farmgate price of white corn grain rose 0.4% week-on-week to P16.10 per kg. The average wholesale price was unchanged at P22.68 per kg, and its average retail price was also stable at P29.12 per kg, remaining unchanged for four weeks straight.

The PSA noted that production of palay fell 0.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019.

Based on the seasonally-adjusted rice production and prices for January to March 2019 released by the agency, palay output decreased to 4.69 million metric tons (MT) from 4.71 million MT recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018. On an annual comparison, it fell 4.6%.

“From 2011 to 2019, the highest deseasonalized palay output for the first quarter was in 2018 at 4,918 thousand metric tons and the lowest was in 2016 at 4,248 thousand metric tons,” PSA said in the report.

On the other hand, the deseasonalized farmgate price of palay also fell 5.3% quarter-on-quarter to P20.07 per kg. It was slightly higher than the P20.04 per kg recorded in the same period last year. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang