Palay output hits 5.4MMT in Q3

LOCAL production of palay (unmilled rice) reached 5.04 million metric tons (MT) in the third quarter of 2023, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported, up slightly compared to the output of the previous quarter.

Based on the seasonally adjusted rice production and prices report, PSA said that palay output from July to September went up by 0.4 percent from the previous quarter’s seasonally adjusted production of 5.03 million MT.

The latest figure was also higher by 32.8 percent in comparison to the previous estimate of 3.79 million MT for the same period.

Year on year, the seasonally adjusted palay output was higher by 1.0 percent from the 4.9 million MT recorded in the same period last year.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier said that production of palay was expected to increase this year and that a record output was possible.

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Agriculture Undersecretary for Rice Industry Development Leocadio Sebastian said that local palay output this year is estimated to reach 20 million MT, higher by 1.5 percent from the 19.7 million MT recorded in 2022. It was in 2021 that the country logged its highest palay output at 19.96 million MT.

The farmgate price of palay, meanwhile, was recorded at P20.24 per kilogram (kg), an increase of 7.9 percent from the previous quarter’s P18.76 per kg.

The adjusted price was also higher by 16.9 percent from P17.31 per kg in the same period last year.

The National Food Authority (NFA) has set a new price range for buying palay to improve the income of Filipino farmers.

It was announced that the buying price for dry palay would be P23 per kg from P19 kg, and for wet, P19 per kg from P16 per kg.

In an earlier statement, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) suggested reimposing the price cap on milled rice to prevent attempts to artificially increase retail prices of the commodity.

Sinag said it is receiving reports that some millers and traders are offering to buy freshly harvested palay between P21 to P23.50 per kg and P26 and P29 per kg for dry palay.

For her part, Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and Regulations Mercedita Sombilla said there are other measures the government can take to stabilize rice prices aside from imposing a price ceiling.