By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
As a result of the huge increase in the price of oil products, the price of manufactured consumer goods such as sardines, noodles and coffee are also expected to go up this week.
Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said they will release the new suggested retail price (SRP) on some basic necessities and prime commodities on Wednesday, September 25.
Castelo said there are items in the SRP list of basic necessities and prime commodities that have not adjusted prices since August 2018.
Aside from the price hikes on certain manufactured goods, Castelo said the price of selected brands of bottled water will decrease.
At the same time, Castelo said they will remove premium brands in the SRP list as inflation level has gone down already.
The current SRPs on 155 gram sardines in tomato sauce range from a low of P13.25 for Young’s Town Bonus to a high of P18.05 for the Rose Bowl brand. Other brands such as Toyo Green (easy open) is priced at P16, Hakata (easy open) at P16/80, Family Bonus Pack plan at P17, Saba at P17.20 and Ligo (easy open) at P17.50.
For instant noodles, both chicken and beef, have SRP ranging from P6.60 to P7.75 per pack. The 55 gram Quickchow beef noodle has an SRP of P6.45 while 50 gram Payless beef noodles at P6.50 per pack. Lucky Me 55 gram beef noodle has SRP of P7.75 per pack.
SRPs on instant coffee vary depending on the weight per pack and brand. A 20 gram Blend 45 coffee has an SRP of P4.10 while a 17-gram Café Puro is at P4.30. San Mig coffee 3-in-1 original is at P5.35 for 20 gram pack while a 30 gram Kopiko Black at P7.
The Nescafe Classic Coffee refill 50-gram pack has an SRP of P39.40 while the 50 gram Café Puro coffee refill is at P39.75.
Among the basic necessities, bread products are expected to stay on course.
Gardenia Bakeries, the country’s largest brand bread producer, expects steady prices even up to the Christmas season.
“Personally, I don’t think there will be price movements,” said Nestor Constancia, marketing and sales manager of Gardenia Bakeries Philippines.
Stiff competition and stable flour prices are keeping prices of bread products steady. Demand though is slowly picking up. The “BER” months are traditionally boosting demand.
“The heavy rains are boosting demand because households tend to make sure they have breads during rainy days,” he said.
Meanwhile, consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. said there is no reason to raise the SRPs on noodles, sardines and coffee.
LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba in a letter to Director Domingo Tolentino Jr. of the DTI Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau said, “There is no sufficient justification for another price increases, albeit should consider rollbacks in SRP.”
According to Dimagiba, their research showed that the costs of raw materials of tin, coffee, wheat for noodle, tamban for sardines, foreign exchange rate and power rates are either flat, stable and even reduced or lower this year.
For coffee, over the period from 2014 to 2019, the cost of coffee are at its lowest, from $4.8 per kilogram to $2. 5 per kilogram.
For tin, LKI said prices in 2019 had decreased by 14.43 percent. For wheat, based on the Minneapolis wheat exchange data for 2019, wheat prices have gone done .
In addition, tamban prices based on PSA Zamboanga also showed a downward pattern for the year 2019 from P38.31 per kilo in November last year to P37.46 in August this year.
The Philippine pesos vs the US dollar also remained firmed at P52-P51 while power rates of Meralco had gone down for 5 consecutive months already.
“Given all the above information, we believe there are no sufficient justification for increases in the SRP of coffee, noodles and sardines,” LKI said.
Albeit, LKI said DTI should consider appropriate rollbacks of the SRP of these products.
For the record, Dimagiba said, from third quarter of 2018 to June 2019, most brands of sardines had increased prices by no less than twice or thrice in that period, as well as adjustment in 3-in-1 coffee and a brand of noodle.