Do not overestimate sugar output, SRA told
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Local sugar stakeholders are calling on the government to stop overestimating sugar production as this affects market prices and policies.

Multi-sectoral group Tatak Kalamay said the Sugar Regulatory Administration owes industry stakeholders and consumers an explanation for their production estimates for the current crop year, which just started this month.

“Records from SRA itself will show that, in the past four crop years, except for one, their estimates have been way off. This is very disconcerting since production estimates influence market forces and determine how SRA crafts its policies,” Tatak Kalamay spokesperson Raymond Montinola said.

“This seeming penchant of SRA to overestimate production by huge margins instead of reflecting the realities on the ground is extremely harmful to the industry because these figures are also the bases for drafting sugar orders and in determining implementation of the importation program,” he said.

The recently released production estimates for crop year 2019 to 2020 was 2.096 million metric tons, 23,000 MT higher than last year’s actual production of 2.073 million MT.

Last year, SRA initially projected production at 2.225 million MT, 152,000 MT higher than the actual production of 2.073 million MT.

Joseph Edgar Sarrosa, convenor of Tatak Kalamay, said production slightly declined by 0.54 percent from last year.

“The agency also claimed a reduction in area planted to sugarcane of 8,000 hectares, citing various reasons. This reduction means a reduction as well in production of about 600,000 bags of sugar. Yet this fact was clearly not inputted in this year’s production estimates,” he said.

Further, the group is joining other industry stakeholders in opposing the five percent US quota allocation which is around 100,000 MT, priced way below domestic sugar.

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