Sugar supply of food processors good up to September  only — PCCI

Published August 16, 2022, 4:55 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Major cola and beverage drinks producers in the country confirmed shortage in supply of refined premium sugar, a key raw ingredient in their products, while the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) warned that its member food processors are slowing down production because their sugar supply is only good until September this year.

Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc., Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc., and ARC Refreshments Corp., the country’s major beverage and cola manufacturers have confirmed in a joint statement that the industry is facing shortage of premium refined sugar, a key ingredient in many of their drinks.

“We are working closely with other stakeholders of the industry and the government to address the situation,” the three groups said as they expressed gratitude to their customers and the public for continued support to their products and understanding. Frederick Ong, president and CEO of (PCPPI), said they are working closely with key stakeholders in the beverage industry in addressing the gap in sugar supply. “This matter is being worked on together with the government as dialogues continue,” PCPPI said.

PCCI President George Barcelon said that companies have slowed down production and are using their supply in a very “controlled manner” because their supply is good up to next month, September, only. According to him, some of their members are agribusinesses and food processors.

Barcelon explained that if the situation will persist, this will have domino effect on other food products, such as beverages and processed foods. He cited other commodities at high princes such as corn and flour.

This will also pave the way for more foreign food products coming in if there is not enough local production.

The PCCI, which earlier supported sugar importation prior the botched approval by the Sugar Regulatory Authority for 300,000 MT, welcomed the recent government move to allow the importation of 150,000 metric tons of sugar to ease the tight supply. “It is a breather (150,000 MT sugar importation). At least food processors will now have an idea that this can be expected and reduce concern of the situation,” said Barcelon.

He also urged government government, particularly the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture, to intensify their monitoring of sugar prices and supply amid skyrocketing prices, which have gone up to more than P100 per kilo for refined sugar.