Panic buying causing shortage of commercial rice

By: Futch Anthony Inso - CDN Digital | March 18,2020 - 09:20 AM

Cebu City, Philippines—Some brands of commercial rice are now running short due to panic buying because of the threat of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Erwin Goc-ong, president of the resident of Cebu Market Vendors Cooperative (CEMVEDCO) and vice-chairman of the Grains Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (Grecon), told CDN Digital that out of five wholesalers that he inquired from, only one still has stocks of premium rice such as Ganador, Lion Ivory and Doña Conchita.

“Kay ang mga dagko karon nga suppliers, daghan nila nga mibalibad nga wala na silay stocks hilabi na kadtong mga bugas mahalon,” Goc-ong said.

(The big suppliers, a lot of them are saying they don’t have stocks anymore, especially of those rice that are expensive.)

Goc-ong said that in his store, his supplies for premium rice will only last for two days as their sales have quadrupled due to panic-buying.

Goc-ong, however, revealed that they still have abundant supplies of cheaper rice.

But he also observed that prices of cheaper rice have increased to P170 per bag.

Read: Prices of rice increase in some Cebu City markets

Rocky Valdez, regional director of the National Food Authority (NFA), said that they will be monitoring the price of rice within this week.

He said that last week, they have not observed any movement in the price of commercial rice.

For instance, regular-milled rice is still sold at P34.63 per kilogram. Well-milled rice is also sold at P39.75 per kilogram, premium rice is at P47 per kilo, special rice at P62.50 per kilo while white corn grits are sold at P27.25 per kilogram.

Valdez, though, assured the public that they have enough supply of NFA rice and that there’s no reason for the public to go on panic-buying

Read: NFA-7 assures public there’s enough supply of rice

Valdez told CDN Digital that they still have around 138,350 bags of rice in different warehouses in Central Visayas.

NFA is only mandated to procure locally produced palay, while the importation of commercial rice is delegated to private traders. /bmjo

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