Yulo: SO3 sugar importation won’t bring down retail prices

The importation of 200,000 metric tons of sugar granted by the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) will not bring down the high retail prices in the local market, Rep.-elect Emilio YuloIII (Neg. Occ., 5th District) said Saturday, June 25.

That is because the imported sugar under Sugar Order No. 3 is geared towards the use of industrial users, Yulo, a former member of the Sugar Board, said.

The problem with the SRA’s importation program is it did not start on the right foot, he said.

If the SRA granted the importation after the end of the milling season, it would have been easy for sugar producers and other stakeholders to accept that there was a need for it, he said.

The SRA, in a statement Friday, said at the time Sugar Order No. 3 s.2021-2022 was crafted, it was clear that the shortage was in standard refined sugar and bottlers’ grade sugar used by manufacturers that is why the importation was for the manufacturers.

The manufacturers purchased the majority of the country’s sugar production, it said.

“If we had been able to address their needs through the timely implementation of SO3, there would have been enough supply for the retail market at affordable prices. It is because SO3 was stalled, that manufacturers have been willing to buy sugar at whatever price to ensure that their factories don’t run out of sugar,” the SRA said.

The high sugar prices in the market have been caused by the greediness of some sugar traders, Manuel Lamata, United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines president, said Thursday, June 23.

“They are hoarding sugar to manipulate the market as if there was a shortage,” he said.

The SRA, on the other hand, insist that there is no evidence of sugar hoarding.

Yulo said it is important that a Negrense heads the SRA for better understanding of the sugar industry.

“It is imperative for a leader to unite the stakeholders,” Yulo said.*

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