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July 2024

Philippines expects stable rice price in first half of 2024

MANILA: The rice supply in the Philippines is sufficient through the first half of this year, ensuring the stable price of the country’s main food staple, an agriculture official said on Thursday (Feb 8).

Philippine Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel said rice prices may stay elevated through September this year due to concerns over El Nino’s impact on global rice supply and heightened demand for the grain, which is keeping international prices high.

“What we need to guard against now are profiteers who may attempt to exploit the situation by using El Nino as an excuse to hoard rice supply to push local prices to unreasonably high levels,” Laurel added.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the Philippines, with around 110 million population, ranked the world’s top importer of rice and is estimated to import 3.8 million metric tonnes of rice in 2024.

Last week, the Philippines signed a five-year rice supply deal with Vietnam, ensuring a source of 1.5 million to 2.0 million metric tonnes of rice annually. India also promised to provide the country with additional supply.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has identified rice as a major risk in the consumer price index, which measures inflation. Rice inflation accelerated to 22.6 per cent in January from 19.6 per cent in December 2023, PSA data showed.

PSA head Dennis Mapa said that inflation could have been lower were it not for the double-digit increase in rice prices compared to last year, given its weight in the consumer basket. – Xinhua QR Code

Published Date: February 9, 2024

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