BOCAUE, Bulacan: Rice traders in Intercity Industrial Estate here, a major rice trading center in the country, said that from a high of P24 a kilo registered last month (September), palay prices have gone down to P16 to P18.50 a kilo depending on its quality and varieties.
Good quality grains are priced from P17 to P18.50 a kilo while rains-damaged grains are price from P16 to P17 a kilo, the traders said.
If these grains are milled and register its normal recovery rate of 60 percent, the landed averaged wholesale rice price for palay priced at P18.50 a kilo is around P1,900 a 50-kilo bag or P38 a kilo; palay at P17 a kilo would have an average wholesale price of around P1,350 per 50-kilo bag, or P27 a kilo; and palay at P16 a kilo would have an average wholesale price of P1,280 per 50-kilo bag, or P25.60 a kilo.
However, traders said that the production cost would go up if rice recovery rate for milled palay goes below the 60-percent benchmark.
The rising prices of rice in the months of August and September have irked consumers, raising speculations of rice hoarding by several unidentified groups.
As these took place, Simeon Sioson, chair of the Federation of Central Luzon Farmers Cooperative, earlier said that it is normal for palay and rice prices to increase during the rice lean months of June to early September as majority of the farmers have no more grains to sell to rice traders.
Sioson also noted that the government has effectively controlled the entry of smuggled rice for this year that subject the rice price to follow the law of supply and demand wherein a commodity’s price starts to rise when there’s a big demand and few supply and prices start to slide down as supply becomes plentiful.
In the past several years, rice price rose steadily during the lean months of June to September and so did the dumping of smuggled rice in the local market, Sioson said.
Raadee S. Sausa