The country’s rice and corn inventories fell in January, increasing pressure on prices already struggling with high transportation costs and expensive fertilizers.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, rice stocks stood at 1.77 million metric tons on January 1, 2023, a five percent decrease from the 1.86 million tons reported in January last year.
While rice stocks held by farmers or households increased by 7.6 percent year-on-year to 1.07 million tons, commercial stocks held by traders declined 11.5 percent to 583.7 tons, and those held by the National Food Authority plummeted by 44.8 percent to 114.9 tons.
The shortage in supply hit prices in March, with rice inflation at 3.2 percent year-on-year and a month-on-month inflation of 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, corn stocks fell by 14 percent to 436.1 tons from 507.2 tons, with household stocks increasing by 6.6 percent to 78.85 tons, and those held by traders dropping by 17.5 percent to 357.28 tons from 433.19 tons.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported an annual inflation rate of 2.6 percent on corn in March, with a month-on-month inflation decline of 0.7 percent.