THE average farmgate price of palay, or unmilled rice, rose 0.05% week on week to P19.64 per kilogram in the third week of February, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Monday.
According to PSA, the average price of wholesale well-milled rice, fell 0.43% week on week to P41.22 per kg. At retail, well-milled rice averaged P44.63, down 0.27% from a week earlier.
The average wholesale price of regular-milled rice fell 0.87% week on week to P37.76 per kg. The average retail average price fell 0.90% to P40.72 per kg.
In a news conference, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that price of rice at farmgate level is now starting to recover after a drastic drop to an average of P14 to P15 per kg, amid speculation of price pressure brought on by imported rice under the Rice Tariffication Act.
“The DA believes that the fall to P15 was only an initial market shock. The price is returning to P17 to P18,” Mr. Piñol told reporters in Quezon City on Monday.
“Right now the farmers are starting to realize that the price pressure is not that intense. We explained to them that even if the importers bring in bigger volumes of rice, there’s a limit to how much you can access in the world market. If you access more, world prices would spike,” Mr. Piñol said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio