December 17, 2018 ( Karl R. Ocampo, Philippine Daily Inquirer )
Although rice prices have continued to decline, a member of the country’s monetary board said it was difficult to say whether prices will go back to year-ago levels.
Monetary board member and former International Rice Research Institute executive director Bruce Tolentino said there were many variables that need to be considered.
“One answer is to apply the anticipated inflation rates for 2019 and 2020 to the price of rice moving forward from now. That should provide a fair approximation of the range,” he said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas expects the country’s inflation rate in 2019 and 2020 to hit 3.18 percent and 3.04 percent, respectively.
As of the first week of December, the average price of regular-milled and well-milled rice declined to P42.17 and P45.73 a kilo, respectively, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.
However, compared to prices a year ago at P38.06 and P42.24 a kilo, respectively, these are still higher by 10.80 percent and 8.74 percent.
Prices are also still higher than the suggested retail prices of P39 and P44 a kilo for local regular-milled and well-milled rice.