Rice: ‘Higher prices’ expected in December

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 07,2023 - 06:30 AM

Rice: ‘Higher prices’ expected in December. Vendors at the Ramos Public Market say that rice prices have increased slightly. | Niña Mae Oliverio

Vendors at the Ramos Public Market say that rice prices have increased slightly. | Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines – An increase in rice prices is expected in the holiday season, the president of Cebu Market Vendors Cooperative (CEMVEDCO) said.

Traditionally, rice prices tend to decrease starting from the second week of September due to the harvest season. However, contrary to expectations, prices have increased.

READ: Presyo Merkado: Current prices of food in Metro Cebu markets

What a sack of premium rice costs now

Erwin Goc-ong, president of CEMVEDCO, said that during a typical season, a sack of rice, particularly one of the premium varieties of rice, ganador, cost 2,250 pesos as a retail price in July.

In August, it rose to 2,650 pesos. Currently, a sack of rice is sold from to 3,020 pesos to 3,050 pesos.

Lower harvest

“Ang sulti sa mga traders, katong mga importers, nisaka ang local tungod kay gamay ra ang harvest. Matod pa sa millers sa Manila, gailog sila sa palay. Ikaduha, nimahal ang farmgate price sa palay,” Goc-ong said on Wednesday, December 6.

(According to the traders, the importers, that the local rice increased in prices because there the harvest was only small. According to the millers in Manila, they were competing on who gets the palay. Second, the farmgate price of the palay increased.)

READ: Rice prices surge as production costs rise

Price cap on rice

Moreover, Goc-ong mentioned that the government had implemented a price cap during July and August, to mitigate the increase in prices.

However, in the current scenario, Goc-ong said, the government had chosen not to intervene, considering the “positive impact” on farmers.

Average wholesale price in market

“Makita man nato sa balita nga 31 pesos per kilo ang palay and rule of thumb: times two gyud na kung pilay farmgate price sa palay, times two mao gud nay average whole sale price diri sa mercado,” he said.

(We can see in the news that the price of palay is 31 pesos per kilo and rule of thumb: the price in farmgate is times two, that is why the average wholesale price here in the market is also times two.)

READ: Agri officials see stable rice prices

40 percent increase in price of rice

The CEMVEDCO president emphasized that this situation would significantly impact consumers, especially given that rice is a “basic necessity” for the people.

“Mao lagi na, nahibung ko ngano walay intervention ang gobyerno nga sa una katong P2,250 palang ang bugas nag price cap ang atong presidente, karon nuon nga P3,000 na ang sako walay price cap,” Goc-ong stressed.

(That is why, I was surprised why there was no intervention from the government when earlier when a sack of rice was P2,250, the president implemented a price cap, now when a sack of rice costs P3,000 a sack there is no price cap.)

He said that the increase would  amount to about a 40 percent rise per sack of rice.

READ: P20/kilo of rice is “doable” if govt subsidizes farmer inputs

Cost of imported rice, higher tariffs

“Basin muminos na ni by January gumikan kay dunay hugon-hugon nga mura og minusan sa gobyerno ilahang tariff, ang tax ba, Goc-ong said.

(Perhaps, the prices will go down by January because there are talks about the government reducing tariff and tax.)

He also further explained that the surge in prices was driven by the global increase in the cost of imported rice and higher tariffs.

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TAGS: Cebu Market Vendors Cooperative (CEMVEDCO), higher prices, rice

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