Sugar oversupply; Lacson: Importation may affect local sugar industry 

Posted by watchmen
July 3, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE


Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the local sugar industry will be affected by the government’s plan to import 200,000 metric tons (MT) of refined sugar in September, which aims to address the supply gap before the milling season starts in October.

Lacson warned that the importation would lead to an oversupply of sugar, causing prices to drop.

The target price for a 50-kilogram sack of sugar is P3,000.

According to Lacson, there is a current deficit in the supply of sugar.

Meanwhile, sugar farmer groups expressed concerns over the proposed importation of sugar, citing the need for a consultative and transparent approach.

In a joint statement released yesterday, the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) and the Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers (PanayFed) have called on the government to conduct a stakeholder consultation and provide data-based information on the proposal.

“The NFSP and PanayFed are calling for a data-based, transparent and consultative sugar importation plan,” the groups said.

“Our united commitment in the Sugar Council remains strong in advocating for the welfare of the majority of sugarcane farmers in the country,” they added.

The groups pointed out that current sugar inventory levels are adequate, and local production can meet demands without imports until the start of the milling season in October.

They also stressed that there was no basis for the proposal and that no consultations with sugar stakeholders were conducted.

“Enlighten us on the basis of the proposed sugar importation plan. We need to see the sugar production and demand figures which were used as basis for such a plan,” they said.

A report from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) dated June 9, shows that there is an adequate sugar supply, both raw and refined, to last until the start of the milling season later this year.

According to the data, there are 436,229 MT of raw sugar and 492,985 MT of refined sugar available.

Earlier, NFSP expressed concerns about the importation plan, stating that the government should only import sugar when it is “absolutely necessary.”

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. said the proposed importation of sugar intends to cover the supply gap before the milling season starts in October.

Laurel said the Department of Agriculture (DA) will be finalizing its sugar order, as supply is expected to drop in August.

He added that the DA and SRA will meet this month to formalize the planned importation./JB, WDJ

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