Philippines Considers Price Controls on Rice, Pork, Chicken

(Bloomberg) -- Philippines is “seriously considering” price ceilings for rice, pork and chicken as food prices remain elevated after a typhoon damaged crop output, the country’s trade secretary said.

Early data shows farm-gate prices are already falling and the government is waiting to see if traders reduce retail prices correspondingly, Ramon Lopez, who heads the government’s department of trade and industry, said in an interview in London.

If the price reductions don’t happen and profiteering is detected, he is open to recommend that President Rodrigo Duterte impose price limits on food items which retailers will be required to comply with, he said.

“I am a free-market proponent,” he said. “But if profiteering happens, I will have to recommend it.”

Read more: Philippines Says Typhoon Damage on Farms Highest Since Haiyan

While rising oil prices have led consumer-price growth to accelerate to 6.4 percent in August, compared with 2.9 percent in December, damages to crop output from Typhoon Manghut have ruined prospects for a quick moderation in inflation.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.