Raw sugar output rises amid falling prices, demand

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SUGAR PRODUCTION in the third week of May rose 3.12% year-on-year, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said.

SRA said raw sugar production was 2.054 million metric tons (MMT) by the third week, up from 1.992 MMT a year earlier. This is equivalent to 41.092 million 50-kilo bags, compared with 39.847 million a year earlier.

The crop year for sugar starts every September and ends in August.

Demand for raw sugar declined 15% to 1.515 MMT.

Total sugarcane milled decreased 5.25% year-on-year to 21.562 MMT.

Refined sugar output fell 4.9% year-on-year to 764,412.4 MT.

The millgate price fell 16.6% to P1,502.9 per 50-kilo bag. The retail price was stable at P45 to P53 per kilo.

For the remaining months of sugar production, SRA Board Member and Millers’ Representative Roland B. Beltran said that production is still growing, but possibly in lower increments.

Maliit na lang talaga (The increases will be smaller)… Marami nang tumigil ng pagmi-mill… (many mills have stopped processing sugar) More or less, halos pareho lang ng last year (we’re expecting little change from last year),” Mr. Beltran said.

Crop year 2017-2018 ended with raw sugar output of 2.083 MMT, down 16.67%. Refined sugar production decreased 3.73% to 926,677.4 MMT.

The food sector has been calling for sugar prices to fall and for the sector to be liberalized along the lines of rice tariffication, which allows the commodity to be more freely imported while the government collects tariffs on the inbound shipments. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang