Suggested retail price for sugar urged
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is urging the Department of Trade and Industry to implement a suggested retail price for sugar.

Emilio Yulo, SRA board member for the planters sector, said the DTI should be on deck in addressing profiteering as sugar prices remain high at retail level despite the decrease at the mill gate.

“We are unfairly blamed for the prices, that producers are making a lot of money, but the truth is we’re just trying to  survive. We are calling on the DTI, if they need DA already, let us know now so we can make necessary representations,” Yulo said in a weekly forum yesterday.

“(Trade Secretary Ramon) Lopez’s solution is to allow importation (to bring down prices), but they have the enforcement powers. And yet we are the ones being blamed,” he added.

Raw sugar at the mill gate is priced at P1,450 per 50-kilogram bag and will be sold for about P2,100 once refined. This means that capital should be about P42 per kilo.

“If you include storage, transportation cost and others, it is safe to assume that consumer level per kilo should only be at more or less P50,” Yulo said.

Latest market monitoring, however, showed that retail price for refined sugar ranges from P52 to P65 per kilo and much higher in supermarkets at P59 to P71 per kilo.

“Maybe we can have a stakeholders meeting on that so we can come up with a consensus on the ideal SRP,” Yulo said.

“We should not be the ones initiating this, it is DTI’s responsibility. Until now, no action on their side,” he added.

The SRA is still undecided whether it will allow additional sugar imports despite calls from the domestic processing industry.

“We are open on schemes that will help our stakeholders, but we need to take a serious look at who will import,” Yulo said.

Processors already warned of a possible increase in prices of products using sugar, if the government will not allow them to import up to 100,000 metric tons.

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