BOCAUE, Bulacan: Wholesale prices of commercial rice have started to slide down as palay harvest season starts to take place in several rice-producing provinces in Northern Luzon.
This was the assessment of several rice traders at the Intercity Industrial Estate in this town, a major rice-trading center in the country.
The traders said that current palay prices being delivered in Intercity by palay traders from Nueva Viscaya and Isabela provinces range from P22.00 to P23 a kilo depending on its quality and have gone down by an average of P1 per kilo compared to last week price of P23 to P24 a kilo.
As prices of local commercial rice start to slide down so does prices of imported commercial rice wherein current prices are pegged at P1,780 to P1,830 from last week’s P1,830 to P1,880 for five percent broken rice; P1,750 to P1,800 from P1,800 to P1,850 for 15 percent broken rice and P1,730 to P1780 from P1,780 to P1,830 for 25 percent broken rice.
On the other hand, Simeon Sioson, chairperson of the Federation of Central Luzon Farmers Cooperative, said that it is normal for palay and rice prices to increase during these rice lean months starting June to early September because most of the farmers have no more palay to sell to rice traders and smuggled rice was effectively controlled by the government.
Sioson also noted that in the past several years, rice were priced steadily during the rice lean months of June to September and so does the dumping of smuggled rice in the local market to the detriment of local farmers.
Meanwhile, the National Food Authority (NFA) assured that Central Luzon, the country’s rice granary, has sufficient supply of the staple until end of 2013.
NFA Central Luzon Director Amadeo de Guzman explained to Philippine Information Agency Region III that “Our buffer stock stands at 1.77 million bags which is good to last in the remaining four months of the year.”
“Lean months, which starts late June and ends early September is the traditional planting season for farmers. Hence, we expect no harvest that is why supply of commercial rice dwindles and prices soar ranging from P36 to P42 per kilogram,” de Guzman explained.
“The government’s market intervention in Central Luzon was able to prevent the prices of commercial rice from increasing at unreasonable levels during the lean month period. We expect supply and prices of commercial to normalize with the onset of the main cropping harvest season as palay deliveries from the provinces started arriving at the Intercity in Bocaue, Bulacan which is one of the biggest rice trading center in the entire Luzon island,” de Guzman said.