rice supply in the Philippines

Rice prices expected to rise until September

Iya Gozum

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Rice prices expected to rise until September

Rice dealers display rice and their prices at the Trabajo Market in Sampaloc, Manila on August 10, 2023.


Former agriculture chief Leonardo Montemayor says it is possible that rice prices will go up to P60 per kilo

MANILA, Philippines – Expect the price of rice to spike possibly until September if supply will not be augmented, former agriculture chief Leonardo Montemayor said in an interview on Thursday, August 17.

Montemayor, chairman of Federation of Free Farmers, said it was possible that rice prices would reach P60 per kilo.

“I think it’s possible,” he said. “Lalo na next month kasi napakanipis na po nung magiging supply picture natin lalo pa’t kung hindi makadating ‘yung additional imports by the private sector.”

(I think it’s possible, especially next month when our rice supply things out and if additional imports from the private sector will not arrive.)

According to Montemayor, rice price ranged last week from P45 to P50 per kilo. This week, price gained an additional P5 per kilo.

“This morning I asked around in at least nine spots across the country. Price ranged P49 or P50 upwards to P55 depending on the variety,” he said in Filipino.

In early August farmers’ group Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Incorporated (PCAFI) said there would be a P4-per-kilo increase until September. Prices may go down when the rice harvest season starts, PCAFI president Danilo Fausto said.

Supply still ‘sufficient’

Malacañang and the Department of Agriculture earlier assured the public that there was still sufficient rice supply, but prices would vary in different areas.

The government is already looking at rice importations during the lean months and with the threat of El Niño ahead.

In a House of Representatives hearing on Wednesday, August 16, DA officials said they were looking at neighboring countries Vietnam and Thailand to sell their surplus rice supply to private sector importers.

In line with this, the DA is also looking at the super green lane at the Bureau of Customs to fast track the importation of rice until February 2024.

Lawmakers lamented the country’s reliance on rice imports and highlighted the need to improve rice production and support for farmers. Montemayor noted during the interview that rice importations had actually been increasing in recent past administrations.

Based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s estimate, the Philippines is now the second biggest buyer of rice – an irony in a supposedly agricultural country.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier set the target of rice self-sufficiency by 2028. – Rappler.com

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Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum covers the environment, agriculture, and science beats for Rappler.