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Prices of canned sardines up P1 in Zambo

September 11, 2008 4:08am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The price of canned sardines, considered a basic food item among Filipinos since it provides inexpensive protein, rose by at least P1 per can in the first week of September in this city from the previous month, the regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

However, this does not cover yet another P1/can price increase recently announced by manufacturers which is to take effect later this month.

Rolando G. Acuña, the provincial director of the Trade department, said that his office’s monitoring from August to the first week of September showed average retail price of a can of sardines now ranges from P11.25-P11.75, compared to P10.00-P10.50 last month.

He said the price adjustment is still within the suggested retail price of P13.20/can.

Earlier, the nine canneries here, which supply roughly 80% of the domestic market of canned sardines, informed the Trade department that they will "uniformly" raise their prices at P1/can starting September.

The manufacturers said the adjusted price is the result of high operating cost, including the P5 per kilogram increase in the price of raw sardines.

Seven out of nine canneries in this city had earlier agreed on new fresh fish prices set by the Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association.

In a separate interview, a sardines fisher and processor here said that, for others, the new price of the commodity will take effect from late September to the first week of October, since they were still disposing their old stock.

William Tiu Lim, president of Mega Fishing Corp., said the new price of their products will increase to P12.50 from the current retail price of P11.75.

"Our assumption is that the P1/can adjustment will take effect roughly three weeks after the shipment of the new stocks," Mr. Lim said in an interview.

But he said it depends on the sales of their clients at retail outlets.

"If our old products were sold already and new orders are coming, then the new price of our products will be felt as soon as it gets to the shelves of the stores."

Local manufactures here have been complaining of high operating cost for months now.

Edgar B. Lim, manager of Permex, which exports tuna and sardines, said that, aside from fish, "tomato paste price has already increased from $500 to $600 per ton last year to $1,500 to $1,700 per ton."

"Plus [there is] the recent wage increase in the region," he added. — Darwin T. Wee, BusinessWorld