By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The country’s sugar production for the next crop year is seen to go down to 2.23 million metric tons (MT), with Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) allotting 95 percent of the output to domestic consumption and completely nothing for the world market exports.
Sugar Order No.1 (SO1), which was released yesterday, showed that SRA decided to allot 95 percent of the country’s estimated sugar output for next year to domestic sugar market or ‘B’ sugar, while 5 percent will be tapped to meet US Quota Sugar or ‘A’ sugar.
For now, nothing is allotted for D Sugar or those that will be exported to other overseas countries.
When asked about this, SRA Board Member Roland Beltran only said “the order of preference are domestic market and US market and when there are more or excess sugar, then we allocate for the world market”.
Beltran said the SRA wants to prioritize the allocation in accordance with the mandate under Executive Order No. 18 Series of 1986.
“At any rate, Section 4 of SO1 provides for periodic reassessment that gives us flexibility considering the unpredictability of the weather or climate,” Beltran said.
As for the ‘A’ sugar allocation, SRA explained that the US, a historical trading partner of the Philippines, “continuous to be a reliable market and remains an instrument to stabilize domestic sugar supply that its allocation is imperative”.
The next crop year will stretch from September 1 to August 31, 2019.
Sugar allocation for the previous crop year was amended several times as well as the target production.
In May, SRA, through SO9, ordered the reclassification of the remaining D Sugar or World Market Sugar into B or Domestic Sugar to arrest rising cost of local sugar.
“It is the national interest to institute measures that will bring about stabilized prices of B Domestic Sugar which are reasonably profitable to producers and fair to consumers,” SRA said.
In July, with only less than a month left before the sugar crop year ends, Beltran said the country is no longer poised to hit its production target of 2.27 million MT of sugar, which was lower than the 2.5 million MT recorded in the previous crop year.
As of July 15, the country’s total sugar production only stood at 2.1 million MT.