Prices of commercial rice were monitored to be decreasing contrary to reports that rice prices have gone up.

NFA Administrator Renan Dalisay, during actual inspection of rice sold in public markets in General Santos City sourced from Surala, South Cotabato today, observed that rice prices in the area were recorded between as low as P32 per kilogram to as high as P44 per kilogram. South Cotabato is among areas in the country where El Niño phenomenon is prevalent.

Dalisay said that contrary to reports, commercial rice prices have also gone down in other areas as well. Data obtained from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that as of May 23, retail prices of regular commercial rice (RMR) was monitored at an average of P37.28 per kilogram. Well-milled variety (WMR), meanwhile, was recorded at P41.29 per kilogram.

NFA rice, meanwhile, remains at P27 and P32 per kilogram for RMR and WMR, respectively.

Dalisay also said that the NFA is ready for the onset of the lean months to start in July with its active procurement operations. “As of May 21, the NFA was able to procure a total of 1.2 million metric tons of palay. We are also getting ready with the importation of an additional importation of 250,000 MT in preparation for the lean months and to stabilize rice prices during the lean months,” Dalisay said.

The government to government procurement will be opened to the governments of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.