THE average farmgate price of palay, or unmilled rice, fell 0.5% week on week during the third week of May to P18.26 per kilogram (kg), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The PSA said the average wholesale price of well-milled rice fell 0.1% week on week to P39.48. At retail, it fell 0.3% to P43.07.

For regular-milled rice, its wholesale price fell 0.1% week on week to P35.79 during the period. At retail, the price increased 0.03% to P38.75.

The farmgate price of yellow corn grain during the same period inched up 0.4% week on week to P14.06 per kg. The average wholesale price declined 0.4% to P20.21 and the retail price increased 0.6% to P25.02.

The average farmgate price of white corn grain rose 0.9% week on week to P16.34. The average wholesale price increased 0.3% to P22.75, and the average retail price was stable at P29.12, remaining at that level for six weeks straight.

The decline of palay prices for the past months is due to the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, which liberalized the importation of rice. Tariffs to be collected from this will be used to improve the production by local farmers through better equipment, hybrid seeds, and source of capital, among others. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang