The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Thursday that the P1- to P2-rice price increase, particularly regular milled rice, is only because of the seasonal shortage—people should not be alarmed as it will drop by the end of August.
DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo told reporters that the rice shortage will ease by the end of August or early September because it will be the harvest season.
He explained that rice planting is usually at the months of May, June and July of the year and with the constricted grains supply, the market plied a P1 to P2 hike.
“Hindi naman every year . . . pero maraming taon na ganito ang nangyayari. May, June, July nagkakakulang-kulang ng konti pero pag-ani po ng end of August, early September, dadami na po yung supply ng bigas [This does not happen every year but this has happened in previous years. May, June and July supply is tight but by the end of August or early September, rice volume will increase],” Domingo said.
Domingo, as well as Agriculture Secretary Salvador Salacup, said that only regular milled rice price went up. Prices of the National Food Authority (NFA) rice, well milled rice, premium and fancy rice held steady.
“Regular milled rice is a very small category of our entire rice consumption. And pinaka-marami is well milled rice, which is 80 percent ng binibili ng mga tao. [The most consumed is well milled rice, which is about 80 percent of the total consumption of the people],” Domingo said.
From P30 per kilo last week, regular milled rice rose to P32 per kilo as of Tuesday in Metro Manila markets, while other variants remained stable:
1. NFA rice (Well milled) – P27 per kilo
2. Well milled rice – P35 per kilo
3. Premium commercial rice – P40 per kilo
4. Special commercial rice (Fancy rice) – P45 per kilo
On the other hand, Salacup said that the NFA is threshing out plans to release a commercial variant, targeting P32 price per kilo, but has not furnished details yet.
At present, available rice supply of different variants nationwide is good for 71 days, while NFA rice will last for only 22 days.
Kristyn Nika M. Lazo