The Philippines will import 200,000 metric tons (MT) of refined sugar to fill an expected supply shortfall for the year, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) announced on Tuesday.
In a statement, SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica said the agency’s board issued Sugar Ordinance No. 3 for the 2021-2022 crop year.
A crop year begins on September 1 and ends on August 31 of the following year.
The order authorizes the import of 200,000 metric tons of standard and bottling grade refined sugar “in view of the shortfall on the final refined sugar balance”.
After assessing the damage caused by Typhoon Odette to sugarcane crops, sugar stocks in warehouses, as well as facilities and equipment at sugar mills and refineries in major sugar districts, the SRA Chief said that it had recalibrated its pre-final raw sugar production estimate. at 2.072 million metric tons, down from the pre-final harvest estimate of 2.099 million metric tons before the typhoon hit.
Serafica said the import order is consistent with its mandate to establish and maintain a balanced relationship between sugar production and requirements and marketing conditions to ensure stabilized prices.
Additionally, the Philippine Sugar Refineries Association has also revised its refined sugar production forecast for the 2021-2022 crop year to 16.748 million LKg, down from the initial production estimate of 17.572 million LKg. before Odette, according to the SRA.
One KG is equivalent to a 50 kilogram bag of sugar.
The SRA chief said the import of 200,000 tonnes of refined sugar will cover the supply shortfall and “leave the country with sufficient buffer stock to hold out until the start of the next milling season”.
“As the economy begins to open up again, the demand for raw sugar and refined sugar for January this year has also increased compared to the same month of the previous three years,” Serafica said.
“Hence the need to increase sugar stocks to ensure food security and sugar availability to cover sugar demand until the next crop year or milling season starts again,” he said. he adds.
In a stakeholder consultation conducted by the SRA, Serafica said stakeholders did not object to an import scheme, while recommending its mechanics, type of sugar to be imported and arrival dates expeditions, among others, Serafica said.
Eligible participants in this open and voluntary import program are industrial users of refined sugar in good standing who are duly registered international traders, he said.
He added that an industrial user who is not registered with the SRA as an international trader can appoint a legal international sugar trader to import on his behalf.
“Complete applications can be filed with the SRA Regulatory Department either in Quezon City or Bacolod City no later than 5 p.m. on February 14, 2022,” Serafica said. —RSJ, GMA News