Prices of regular-milled rice may reach up to P60 per kilogram amid rising prices in the international market, rice price watchdog Bantay Bigas said.

Bantay Bigas spokesperson Cathy Estavillo said prices of regular-milled rice in some markets in Metro Manila now ranged from P52 to P54 per kilogram

Even in rice-producing Aurora province, Estavillo said rice sells for P52 per kilogram.

“That is the sad reality. And Christmas is just around the corner,” she said in a radio interview.

“It is really scary. It might really hit P60 per kilo since the only solution of the government now is to import,” she added.

Agriculture group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura chairman Rosendo So said rice prices in other countries are also rising, which may affect local rice prices.

“Imported is more expensive. Because prices in the world market are high, the landed cost here will definitely be high as well,” So said.

Earlier, two indusy groups said rice prices in the country may increase before the next harvest season begins in March.

The Federation of Free Farmers chairperson Leonardo Montemayor said palay prices have risen to around P30 per kilo.

Philippine Rice Industry Stakeholders Movement co-founder Orly Manuntag said the price of rice may increase by P1 to P2 depending on the international market.

Department of Agriculture monitoring data showed prices in Metro Manila for local well-milled rice ranged from P45 to P57, while imported well-milled rice was at P52 per kilo.