AT least 132,798 metric tons of imported rice have arrived amid the increasing retail prices of the staple food in the country.

Based on the data from BPI, as of Jan. 19, 2023, the bulk of the rice imports came from Vietnam with 110,686 MT; followed by Thailand, 10,225 MT; Myanmar, 10,920 MT; Pakistan, 1,067 MT; and India, 80 MT.

The BPI added that fresh rice imports were covered by the 152 sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSICs).

According to the BPI, at least 39 accredited importers brought the grains.

Based on the monitoring of the Department of Agriculture in the local markets, the retail prices of local regular milled rice ranged from P34 to P40 per kilo; local well-milled rice, P38 to P44 per kilo; local premium rice, P42 to P49 per kilo; and local special rice, P48 to P60 per kilo.

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The DA added that the imported regular milled rice was pegged between P37 and P38 per kilo; imported well-milled rice, P40 to P45 per kilo; imported premium rice, P43 to P52 per kilo; and imported special rice, P46 to P55 per kilo.

Farmers' group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) President Rosendo So has said that the retail prices of rice have increased.

So added that the upward trend is expected to continue this year.