May 23, 2024

The price range of regular- and well-milled rice may drop at P45 to P48 per kilogram as the country approaches the peak harvest season, the Department of Agriculture said.

Agriculture Asec. Arnel de Mesa said they are monitoring a decline in retail prices, although the prevailing price range is still at P49/kg to P50/kg in Metro Manila.

“It’s slowly dropping, we are seeing P40 plus/kg level. That level is possible. We are looking at it and our harvest is okay,” he said.

De Mesa said the El Niño phenomenon has minimal effects on the country’s harvest season, which is expected from March to April.

It has accounted for 14,000 hectares of damaged rice farms so far, or only 1.5 percent of the total area allotted for rice.

“We are expecting up to 9.6 million metric tons of harvest during this dry season,” de Mesa added.

Besides the yield supply, he cited the dwindling price of rice in the international market which is now at a USD570/metric tons (MT) level.

De Mesa also assured adequate import volumes following Laurel’s earlier talks with rice importers.

“This is 40 percent higher compared to the same period last year. So our imports are huge, mostly entered in January,” he said.

To date, around 728,000 MT of imported rice have entered the country. – PNA