Rice price increase to continue until July 2024

Rice price increase to continue until July 2024
SunStar File

THE prices of rice may continue to increase until July 2024, said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Friday, April 5, 2024.

In a press conference, PSA director Dennis Mapa noted the record-breaking 24.4 percent rice inflation in March 2024 from 23.7 percent in February 2024.

The March 2024 rice inflation is the highest over the past 15 years from 24.6 percent in February 2009.

“Our expectation is it will increase strongly until July because of mababang base effect… unless there is an intervention that will happen in the market that will bring down prices,” he said, adding that prices of rice may gradually slow down by August 2024.

Mapa said price adjustments on regular and well-milled and special rice recorded a higher year-on-year increments.

He said that in March 2023, regular milled rice only costs P39.90 per kilograms but now, it is up at P51.11 per kilogram, while price of well-milled rice shoot up to P56.44 per kilogram from P44.23 per kilogram during the same month last year.

Prices of special rice went up approximately by P10 per kilo over the past year.

The country’s headline inflation rate slightly accelerated in March 2024 at 3.7 percent.

In a statement Albay Second District Representative Joey Salceda, who is also an economist, reiterated that managing the prices of rice is the key in calming down the inflation or the increase of prices of goods and services at a given time.

He said that 57 percent of the March 2024 inflation came from higher food prices.

If not with the higher food inflation, headline inflation rate could have been as low as 3.1 percent “which is well within acceptable range.”

“Corn prices are declining. Fish prices are down. Vegetables are cheaper this year than last year. And even sugar prices are slightly down. Bread prices are mildly up, but that is attributable partly due to the correlated prices of wheat and rice, especially in India where they are substitutes. The game plan must be focused on rice,” said Salceda.

The lawmaker, however, commended the Department of Agriculture, under Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel, for the significant progress he made in the agency, particularly in being more aggressive with distributing rice production support this quarter.

“He has brought machinery distribution, for example, to about 92 percent of target. The P12-billion rice farmer financial assistance is also set to be completed this June – again, just in time for planting,” Salceda said.

“There is significant progress being made in the DA, and his governance cleanup of the NFA will also help make cheap rice available to the poor, as well as provide a better market for rice farmers,” he added.

He also warned against the impact of the El Niño phenomenon especially on rice which requires the most irrigation. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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