By Louise Maureen Simeon, May 15 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Production of the seasonally adjusted palay (unhusked rice) declined five percent in the first quarter amid the dry spell in the country.

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), palay output went down to 4.69 million metric tons (MT) from 4.92 million MT in 2018.

This is also 0.4 percent lower than the previous quarter’s 4.71 million MT output.

The lower production was attributed to the adverse effects of the dry spell reported in Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western and Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen.

Bicol Region also reported damages to palay production due to the flooding brought by typhoons during the latter part of 2018.

In Davao Region, the decreases in area harvested and yield were due to the effects of low pressure area which caused flooding in some areas of the region in January.

The gross value of palay output also decreased by 11.52 percent due to lower volume of production and price cut.

The seasonally adjusted farm gate price for palay in was flat at P20.07 per kilo in the first quarter.  However, this is five percent lower than the previous quarter.

The wholesale price of rice increased 11.2 percent to P45.06 per kilo.

On the other hand, the retail price of rice fell four percent to P41.35 per kilo.

Meanwhile, current prices of Filipinos’ main staple continued to be on a downward trend following the ongoing arrival of imports and the recently concluded harvest season.

On a weekly basis, the average wholesale price of well-milled rice dipped nearly one percent to P39.91 per kilo during the third week of April. Its weekly average retail price also decreased  one percent to P43.68 per kilo.

The wholesale price of regular-milled rice was P36.24 per kilo, down three percent while its average retail price also fell two percent to P39.29 per kilo.

This as the average farm gate price of palay continued to drop to P18.48 per kilo.