By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is now seeking eligible traders that could supply the United States (US) with 142,160 metric tons (MT) of locally produced sugar within the next 12 months.
For the current crop year — which spans from September this year to August 31 next year — SRA allotted 95 percent of the country's estimated sugar output to domestic sugar market or 'B' sugar, while 5 percent will be tapped to meet US Quota Sugar or 'A' sugar.
SRA said there's a need for Philippines to set aside portion of its sugar production to the US despite the tight supply because the country can't afford to lose it as a market.
As a response, US allocated an initial quota of 142,160 MT raw value (MTRV) or 136,201 MT commercial weight (MTCW) for the Philippines to fulfill.
For this, SRA issued this week Sugar Order (SO3) where it stated that the agency is now ready to verify all 'A' sugar quedan permits that have been validated and re-validated to ensure that the full quota is actually shipped to the United States.
A verified quedan permit will allow traders to ship a particular amount of sugar to the US.
"The US Quota Allocation for Quota Year 2018-2019 shall be allocated among the sugar exporters on a 'First Come-First Served' basis. Likewise, all sugar shipments to the US shall be made on a 'First-In, First-Out' basis," the order further stated.
The period of coverage of SO3 shall be until September 30, 2019.
The country's sugar production for this crop year is seen to go down to 2.23 million MT, which is lower than the 2.27 million MT forecast made in the previous year.
As the Philippines moves closer to exporting sugar to the US, the first batch of 150,000 MT of sugar the country has been authorized to import is already set to enter the country.
SRA Board Member Roland Beltran said earlier that some traders were "quick" to comply with all the import requirements and are now targeting to bring in the first batch of additional imported sugar to the country in the next few days.
It was just on October 2 when the agency formally allowed the importation of 150,000 MT of sugar to address the rising cost of the commodity in the country.