GRECON: Rice SRP would bring huge losses to traders
If Cebu rice retailers implement the suggested retail prices (SRP) for rice, this move would cripple their businesses.
During yesterday’s orientation on the implementation of the SRP on rice in Cebu, Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegrado, president of the Grains Retailers Confederation (GRECON) Cebu province chapter, cited figures showing that the purchase price of several rice varieties is even higher than the SRP.
Implementing the SRP as required by memorandum circular would result in many retailers and traders closing down their business because they would be operating at a loss, Alegrado pointed out.
For example, she said, retailers pay P2,390 for the imported Doña Conchita in orange packaging or at P47.80 per kilo. However, the SRP for imported premium rice is only P44 per kilo.
Another example, the local premium brand Ganador is sold to retailers at P2,420 for a 50-kilo bag or P48.40 per kilo. And the SRP for local premium brands is P47 per kilo.
Lion Ivory, another local premium rice brand, is sold to retailers at P2,320 or at 46.40 per kilo. While the SRP for local premium rice is P47, the retailers would still lose if they sell at SRP since it does not include the expenses incurred by retailers.
And more often than not, she noted that retailers often receive less than 50 kilograms in the supposedly 50-kg bag.
Instead, Alegado asked for a separate SRP for Central Visayas that would take into consideration the added costs like shipping.
“We will ask for that (separate SRP for Central Visayas), because they should have considered the fare (in transporting the rice),” Alegado said
She explained that Central Visayas is not a rice producing region and is therefore dependent on rice supply from other areas in the country.
“What is happening in Manila cannot be replicated here because this is an area, wherein retailers are spending in ferrying rice,” Alegado stressed.
Even the rice industry stakeholders in Metro Manila have sought the support of their Cebuano counterparts, Alegrado revealed, because this is the first time that their rice have to be sold at SRP, incurring losses for them. This indicates that “something is really wrong,” she added.
Cebu Grains Traders Association President Manuel Yu said that it would be difficult for them to supply retailers at a lower price because the purchase price given to them by their supplier was the same as the SRP, in this case the price for Ganador and Lion Ivory.
And on top of this, the supplier asked Yu who would shoulder the freight for the shipment which is estimated at P25,000 per container. And this add-on cost did not include any demurrage fees they have to pay for failure to immediately unload the shipment.
“Unsaon na namo pagbaligya? Mayor (Alegrado), tabangi tawon mi (How can we sell at that price? Mayor, please help us?)” Yu said during the open forum after the orientation on the SRP.
The two groups then agreed to meet Wednesday morning, November 14, to come up with a joint position paper appealing to the National Food Authority and Department of Agriculture to reconsider the nationwide SRP and instead set a different SRP for Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas.
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