By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Confederation of Sugar Producers (CONFED) is pushing to increase the allocation of sugar intended for the US market by a percentage higher than last year’s quota to balance the sugar supply in the country that is projected at 2.190 million metric tons (MT) for crop year 2020-2021versus last year’s production of 2.145 MT.
In their position paper submitted to the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), CONFED is pushing for a 6 percent allocation for “A” and 94 percent for “B” or domestic sugar.
The position further stresses that there is no need for any “A” sugar replenishment in the coming crop year and that early swap must come from sugar produced in the same crop year. Furthermore, any “A” replenishment for CY 2019-2020 must be done by September 30, 2020.
CONFED Negros-Panay chairman Nicolas Ledesma, Jr. said that taking into account the estimated projection, “a six percent A allocation will amount to 131,000 MT. Add to that the 14,000 metric tons beginning stock balance we have for A sugar, we will have enough allocation to the US market of about 136,500 MT which should balance out our supply considering that projected excess for the next crop is also about 48,000 MT for both raw and refined sugar.”
“With all programs in place we find it unnecessary to do “D” or world sugar allocation,” Ledesma said, adding that CONFED is also pushing that no sugar importation will happen in the coming year because “prevailing economic conditions will likely lead to a reduction of sugar consumption.”
The group added that they are looking forward to continued consultation with the SRA on matters that will affect the sugar industry.
Earlier, SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica said that they are “studying the possibility of exporting surplus sugar to the US to take advantage of Washington’s preferential rate.”
The SRA board composed of the DA and representatives of sugar producers and millers is scheduled to meet soon to craft the policies for the incoming crop year./DGB, WDJ