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Philippines Food Prices Up 5.2% In First Quarter

by 5m Editor
18 May 2004, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINES - Prices of food items at the farmgate level in Philippines rose by an average of 5.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, led by a 29-percent upturn in prices of pork.

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Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed that the farmgate prices of livestock products went up by 22.6 percent; poultry products, 6.1 percent; and farm crops, 3.2 percent. Prices of fishery items, on the other hand, went down 2 percent.

Farmgate prices refer to the amount dealers and traders pay to farmers. Normally, such prices double during retail of the commodities. Farm and food products account for more than half of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) in the Philippines.

Consumer prices rose 4.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the biggest gain since December 2001, the National Statistics Office said in Manila. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecast a 3.9 percent increase.

The central bank is monitoring the impact of rising oil prices on inflation, BSP Deputy Gov. Aman­do Tetangco told Bloomberg News in Jeju, South Korea.

"For 2004, the threat is not serious,"he said. "But for 2005, we will have to closely monitor and continuously assess that because the inflationary pressures that are beginning to show now will only have the full impact in 2005."

Because of rising oil prices, the Philippines may have to lower its 4.8-percent economic growth forecast for 2004, Finance Secretary Juanita Amatong said. Amatong was interviewed during a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jeju.

Because of the 5.2-percent gain in farmgate prices and the 8.2-percent growth in production, the total value of agricultural output reached P192 billion at current prices in the first three months.

A kilo of liveweight hog shot up by 29.4 percent to P65.44 in the first three months of the year from only P50.57 a year ago. In contrast, prices of carabao meat dropped 12 percent to P37.35 a kilo from P42.43 a kilo.

Farmgate prices of cattle went down 1.7 percent year-on-year to P50.76 a kilo in the three-month period while prices of goat fell 3.9 percent to P56 a kilo. Prices of dairy products slowed 6.3 percent to P15 a kilo.

Despite the bird flu scare, farmgate prices of chicken improved 9.6 percent to P65.06 a kilo in the first quarter from the year-ago level of P59.38 a kilo. This was negated by the 24.4 percent drop in the prices of ducks to P46.38 a kilo from P61.35 a kilo.

Prices of chicken eggs went down by 3.5 percent to P64.27 a kilo while prices of duck eggs improved by 13.9 percent to P51.09 a kilo.

Corn prices posted a remarkable increase of 34.9 percent to P8.77 a kilo in the first quarter of 2004 from P6.50 a kilo during the same quarter of 2003. Palay (paddy rice) prices went up by a modest 2.9 percent to P8.92 a kilo from P8.67 a kilo.

Farmgate prices of coconut products, the country's top farm exports, grew 20.9 percent to P3.30 a kilo in the first three months from P2.73 a kilo a year earlier.

Prices of fishery products inched down by 2 percent due to a 12.7 percent decline in prices of aquaculture products. Farmgate prices of aquaculture items slid to P25.42 a kilo from P29.11 a kilo.

Prices of marine products caught by commercial fishers posted a 10-percent increment while those by municipal fishers were up by 8.2 percent. Farmgate prices of these products were in the vicinity of P41 to P43 a kilo in the first quarter of 2004.

Source: eFeedLink - 18th May 2004

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5m Editor