THE AVERAGE farmgate price of palay, or unmilled rice, fell 0.2% week-on-week during the fourth week of May to P18.20 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 P39.44. At retail, it rose 0.1% to P43.10 per kg.

The wholesale price of regular-milled rice fell 0.2% week-on-week to P35.73 during the period. At retail, the price increased 0.03% to P38.76.

The farmgate price of yellow corn grain during the period declined 0.6% week-on-week to P13.97 per kg. The average wholesale price fell 8.8% to P18.43 and the retail price decreased 4.2% to P23.96.

The average farmgate price of white corn grain fell 1.4% week-on-week to P16.11. The average wholesale price fell 1.5% to P22.41, and the average retail price remained at P29.12 for a seventh straight week.

The implementation of the Rice Tarrification Law, or the liberalization of rice imports, has been pressuring the price of palay, the form in which domestic farmers sell their rice, in the past few months. The prospect of buying cheap foreign rice has given traders more leverage in the market while also dampening farmers’ planting intentions.

Tariffs collected from the rice imports will finance the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, which will support farm mechanization, high-yielding rice seeds, credit support, and training for farmers. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang