Two planters groups call for 350,000 mt importation

Two planters federations joined the call for a lesser volume of sugar importation than the 450,000 metric tons proposed by the Sugar Regulatory Administration for the two months buffer stock of sugar.

In a joint letter submitted to the SRA Monday, January 30, the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) headed by Enrique D. Rojas and the Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers (PANAYFED) headed by Danilo A. Abelita called for the importation of only 350,000 mt of sugar to arrive in two tranches after the close of the current milling season and before the opening of the coming milling season on September 2023.

The stand of NFSP and PANAYFED was reached in collaboration with the Confederation of Sugar Producers Association (CONFED) headed by Aurelio Gerardo J. Valderrama, Jr, which submitted its stand to SRA Friday calling for a more conservative volume of importation to arrive in two shipments of 175,000 mt each on July and August.

Representing the majority of sugar producers in the country, CONFED, NFSP and PANAYFED recently organized a sugar producers coalition called the Sugar Council, which serves as venue where sugar producers and other concerned stakeholders discuss issues and craft recommendations for submission to policy-makers that advance, promote and secure the continued viability of the sugar industry.

Earlier, the three federations jointly requested SRA to provide actual and projected sugar production and demand figures to justify the request by softdrink companies to import sugar. When SRA announced that the country needs to import 450,000 mt of sugar as two months buffer stock, they discussed again the proposal through the Sugar Council and arrived at a more conservative figure for the proposed importation.

They recommended that the importation should be approximately 350,000 mt to cover the two months buffer stock to arrive after the close of the current milling season but before the start of the coming milling season to minimize its effect on millgate prices when regular milling begins on September 2023.

They also urged the SRA to program the importation in two tranches of 175,000 mt for each shipment to arrive on July and August, after almost all sugar mills have already stopped operations.

SRA should specify what volume of the importation will be refined and raw sugar, based on assessment of market requirements, and what portion will go to the domestic market and what will be earmarked for industrial and institutional consumers, with safeguards to ensure that the sugar goes to the intended markets, the sugar producers added.*

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