The Sugar Regulatory Administration board has just issued a new order classifying all of the sugar produced in the country for domestic consumption, SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica said.
Sugar Order 1-A, Series of 2020-21, signed Monday, March 29, states that effective week ending April 4 all of the sugar produced in the country will be classified as 100 percent “B,” Serafica said.
Manuel Lamata, president of the United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines, said this will address the rising prices of our domestic sugar which our consumers are already complaining about.
UNIFED, the Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations, National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers, and the Luzon Federation of Sugarcane Growers had earlier called for the scrapping of the 7 percent sugar allocation for the US quota.
Lamata said they asked the SRA to stop issuing “A” quedans for the export of the country’s sugar to the United States in lieu of the shortfall in local production because of too much rain.
“We laud SRA Administrator Hermie Serafica for listening to our call to scrap the allocation for ‘A’ sugar and, instead, classifying 100 percent of production as ‘B’ sugar for the domestic market,” Enrique Rojas, NFSP president, said.
“This is welcome news for our sugarcane planters, because this translates to more favorable prices for their sugar, instead of sacrificing a portion of their production to the US market, which traditionally fetches a lower price than B sugar,” Rojas added.
At the start of Crop Year 2020-2021, SRA issued Sugar Order No. 1, classifying 7 percent of sugar production as “A” sugar to fulfill the country’s export commitment to the US, while classifying the remaining 93 percent sugar production as “B” sugar earmarked to the domestic market.
Rojas said Serafica informed him that sugar production might drop by more than 100,000 metric tons this crop year.
He recommended that “A” allocation be immediately scrapped, and asked for a study on the projected consumption, considering the drop in demand because of the Covid pandemic, Rojas said.
“Once we already have a clear picture of the projected demand, we should also conduct a rigid inventory of actual sugar stocks to determine if we really have a supply shortage, and we can ascertain the exact volume of the projected shortage,” Rojas said.
“If importation is really necessary, then we will know how much to import,” Rojas told Serafica.
“All stakeholders, particularly the planters, should be consulted on the volume of importation and the timing of its arrival so that it will not adversely affect our millgate prices,” Rojas said.*