Private traders now the source of cheapest rice with NFA supply tight
In a twist of irony, the country’s private traders are now the consumers’ source of the cheapest rice alternative in the market as the tightness in the supply of the staple from the National Food Authority (NFA) led to the continuous increase in rice prices.
As of the first week of May, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed retail prices for regular-milled and well-milled rice climbed to P40.04 and P43.86 per kg, respectively, or an increase of 7.29 percent and 5.48 percent from prices in the same period last year.
The upward trend in the country’s rice prices that started in January has led President Rodrigo Duterte to order private rice traders to help the government augment the supply of cheap rice in the market by providing commercial rice at P39 per kg.
The state-run grains agency said rice prices might contract with the arrival of imported rice some time this month until the end of June.
Under the government-to-government scheme, the NFA bought 250,000 metric tons of rice from Thailand and Vietnam, while another tranche of 250,000 MT of rice is expected to arrive by the end of the year in time for the lean season. /atm
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