MANILA, Philippines – Prices of premium commercial rice have spiked by P1 to P2 per kilo in some wet markets in Metro Manila.
In Commonwealth market, prices of premium rice variety priced P42 and up have also increased.
The P42 per kilo rice sold two weeks ago is now at P44 per kilo while those sold at P43 per kilo now is being sold at P45 per kilo.
One consumer, Liza Stafford, said prices of premium rice have indeed gone up.
When asked if she's willing to shift to National Food Authority (NFA) rice as advised by the government, Stafford said she doesn't want to, and even dared government officials to eat NFA rice all the time.
Rice retailer Gerry Razon, meanwhile, said that only high-end commercial rice prices have increased.
He said what is important is that there is more than enough NFA rice supply, so those who can't afford premium rice can still get NFA rice sold at P27 and P32 per kilo.
According to Razon, around 80 to 90 percent of his customers now buy NFA rice instead of commercial rice.
Rice producers in the country also acknowledged the price spike for premium commercial rice.
Philippine Confederation of Grains Associations (Philcongrains) president Joji Co said the high prices is just temporary as the harvest season is still coming in September.
"To cover shrinkage and storage cost. Also to enable the millers to subsidize the low end for the masses as the premium market doesn’t need to be subsidized. Temporary lang ‘yan as the next harvest is coming soon in September,” Co said in a text message.
Eggs, chicken prices
Aside from rice, egg prices have also gone up by around P1 per piece. The large sized eggs that used to sell for P150 per tray is now at P160 per tray, while eggs sold by the piece are now P5 each, from P3.50 each.
According to retailer Mar Manio, suppliers told them that egg supply is also affected by the impact of typhoons on the poultry industry.
But many still buy eggs despite higher prices.
"Kahit anong taas, ‘yan pa rin po kasi ang mababa e,” said Manio, referring to the commodity that is still affordable for the masses.
Chicken prices, meanwhile, are still sold at P160 per kilo in Commonwealth market. Choice cuts retail at P170 per kilo.
According to vendors, prices may increase to P180 per kilo as the "ber" months start, citing information from their suppliers.