Philippine Sugar Millers’ Association welcomes SRA stand on no additional sugar imports

Bacolod City: The Philippine Sugar Millers’ Association Inc. (PSMA) has welcomed approval of the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s (SRA) announcement stating that there is no necessity to import sugar based on current demand figures, reported Inquirer.Net

Jesus Barrera, the Executive Director of PSMA, highlighted the slow demand withdrawals since the commencement of the season.

According to the most recent data from the SRA, withdrawals for both raw sugar and refined sugar were down by 23 percent and 10 percent, respectively, as of December 3.

Barrera, in a statement on December 22, remarked, “We are now in the peak of milling with nearly all sugar mills operational and producing sugar. With weak demand, our physical inventories are accumulating as we add more stocks each week.”

He expressed gratitude for the SRA Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona’s declaration that there is no imperative need to augment sugar supplies through imports. Barrera highlighted the challenges faced by the sugar industry, noting that farmgate prices have decreased from P3,000 per bag at the start of the crop year in August to P2,390 to P2,500 in the past two weeks.

“Given the slow demand and reduced prices, sugar producers see no justification for importing sugar, as any additional imports would worsen and prolong their current predicament,” he added.

The government’s recent announcement to halt sugar imports and its consideration of direct purchases from local farmers to address the declining farmgate prices were also acknowledged. Industry leaders attribute the drop in farmgate prices to P2,500 per Lkg and below, from the anticipated P3,000 per Lkg to an oversupply of imported sugar. They underscored that while farmgate prices have decreased, retail prices of sugar remain high.

The Sugar Council, represented by three federations comprising more than half of the national sugar output, reiterated their plea for timely government intervention amidst the decline in sugar prices.


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