The Sugar Regulatory Administration has halted the release of imported sugar into the domestic market to arrest the alarming drop in millgate prices and to protect the farmers and millers, SRA Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona said Thursday, October 12.
The SRA issued Resolution No. 2023-159 to stop speculation that imported sugar will be released into domestic market, he said.
Sugar Order No. 07, series of 2022-2023 authorized the importation of 150,000 MT of refined sugar which should arrive in the Philippines not later than September 15, 2023 and which shall be classified as “C” (Reserve Sugar) subject to future disposition or reclassification, as SRA deems necessary.
The importer-traders indicated that despite the total volume of sugar imported for CY 2022-2023, the about P3,000 per bag farmgate price of raw sugar could still be maintained, Resolution No. 2023-159 said.
However, despite the fact that the average retail price of sugar remains the same, the average farmgate price of raw sugar which hovered between P 2,500 to P2,750 per bag during the first two weeks of CY 2023-2024 continues to go down, to the detriment of the sugar farmers, allegedly by reason of oversupply, the resolution said.
In order to maintain a reasonable volume of sugar available for domestic use, protect the interests of the farmers and millers, and sustain a reasonable farmgate price of raw sugar of about P3,000 per bag, the Sugar Board deemed it necessary to hold in abeyance all applications of conversion and maintain the classification of all imported sugar as “Reserved”, it said.
The resolution lifts the deadline set for importers under Sugar Order No. 07, series of 2022-2023 to reclassify, distribute, and dispose imported refined sugar until further notice.*