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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, June 13, 2018
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Sugar importation okd
BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

 

The Sugar Board has issued a new order granting the importation of not more than 200,000 metric tonsof sugar for crop year 2017-2018, to curb the increasing price of “B” or domestic sugar and ensure adequate supply.

Sugar Order No. 10 issued by the Sugar Regulatory Administration Board Monday outlines the country’s sugar import program for crop year 2017-2018, Sugar Board Member Roland Beltran said yesterday.

Beltran said “With the decisive action by the Sugar Board, the sugar inventory has been reinforced thereby discouraging unreasonable speculations. We expect the sugar price to correct itself to its market driven level.”

The Sugar Board order said “B” sugar is averaging about P1,962.66 per LKg from P1,300 when the crop year started in September 2017.

The order said the SRA initial production estimate for Crop Year 2017-2018 was at 2.35 million metric tons with a carry-over inventory from the previous crop year of 497,770 metric tons and a domestic demand of 2.17 million metric tons.

However, from the start of the present crop year, sugarcane tonnage and productivity were weak resulting in tonnage being down by 34.75 percent and productivity also down by 2.67 percent compared to last year’s levels, the SRA Board said in its the order.

It pointed out that the demand for both raw and refined sugar significantly increased this crop year, with raw sugar withdrawals increasing by 2.58 percent and refined sugar withdrawals by 21.30 percent from last year’s volumes.

The Board said that with lower production and high withdrawals raw sugar stocks on hand is at 602,393 metric tons, which is lower by 38.87 percent from last year, and refined sugar stocks is at 288,363.30 metric tons, down 33.43 percent from last year.

To provide additional supply to the domestic market, the Board pointed out that it issued a series of sugar orders that increased the allocation of “B” sugar, while simultaneously reducing the allocations for “A” or US market sugar and “D” or world market sugar.

The Board said stakeholders in the sugar industry, which include planters, sugar millers and refiners, have written SRA to express their concern over the increasing prices and demanding that SRA act with dispatch to contain it, even calling for the importation of sugar in view of the urgency of the situation.

Following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to prioritize the needs of the domestic market, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has directed the SRA to manage domestic sugar to ensure ample and stable supply particularly during the off-milling season and the early months of the incoming milling season.

In response, the Sugar Board has set importation at not more than 200,000 decided into the following specifications: 100,000 MT bottlers’ grade refined sugar, 50,000 MT standard grade refined sugar and 50,000 tons raw sugar for domestic tolling/direct consumption.

Sugar Order No. 10 was signed by Sugar Board ex-oficio chairman Piñol, SRA administrator Hermenegildo Serafica, and members Beltran and Emilio Bernardino Yulo.*CPG

 

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