MANILA – Rice prices have dropped this year, the National Food Authority said.
NFA Administrator Renan Dalisay said well-milled rice wholesale prices went down by P1.74 per kilo in early 2015, from P40.57 per kilo in October 2014 to P38.83 in February this year.
"The lowest commercial rice price in the last quarter of last year registered at P40 per kilo. In my recent personal market inspection in Dinalupihan, Bataan the lowest commercial rice price I noticed was P31 per kilo," Dalisay said.
He said regular milled commercial rice was sold as low as P31 per kilogram in Bataan while the well-milled variety was priced at an average of P40 per kilogram.
The NFA currently sells government rice at P27 per kilo for regular milled and P32 per kilo for well-milled rice.
Dalisay said the lower prices was due to NFA’s increased and more efficient market participation.
For the last two months of 2014, the NFA surpassed its distribution target by 101,902 metric tons (MT) or 81 percent, from 126,279 MT to 228,181 MT compared to the same period in 2013.
"Another reason for the decline in retail prices in rice is the settling down of farm prices. We have noted of speculative palay buying by private traders last year, which drove farm prices up and naturally impacted on retail prices," Dalisay said.
He added that because there was adequate rice supply, traders tended to stop speculative palay pricing.
"The NFA now is able to buy palay at its support price of P17 per kilo because farm prices have settled down. While we are happy our farmers are making some money because of increased palay prices. We also need to cushion the impact on our consumers," he said.