AMID fears of a highly speculated shortage in rice supply, the price of the food staple has remained stable for the first three weeks of the year.

Based on the monitoring of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao City, the price of rice has barely moved.

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Traders have highly speculated that a shortage in the supply of rice will be experienced in the first quarter of 2010 following the devastation of rice fields during the onslaught of super typhoons in September and October 2009.

As of January 11 to 15, 2010, the DTI's monitoring showed that the price of rice has not moved compared to its price in December 2009.

Roughly milled rice continues to be sold at a prevailing price of P28 and P30 in the supermarket and wet market, respectively.

Well-milled rice, on the other hand, is sold at P32 and P33 at the supermarket and wet market.

Premium rice has shown an odd market behavior with its price slumping in the supermarket by P0.50 compared to its prevailing price in December 2009.

On the other hand, premium rice has increased its prevailing price in the wet market by P1 per kilo.

In December 2009, premium rice was being sold at P38.50 and P36 in the supermarket and wet market, respectively.

At present, premium rice has a prevailing price of P38 and P37 at the supermarket and wet market respectively.

However, a week ago, the price of premium rice at the supermarket was only at P34.70 while it was being sold at P36 at the wetmarket. (CPM)