Sugar output falls 27% in December
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - January 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Local sugar supply remains tight but is expected to improve soon as the milling season will peak this month.

Latest data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) showed that local raw sugar production declined by 27 percent to 311,617 metric tons as of the first week of December.

The current production is lower than the 429,680 MT recorded in the same period in 2018.

 Sugar crop year starts every September and ends in August.

Based on data on sugar production for crop year 2018-2019, output in terms of 50-kilogram bags reached 6.23 million compared to 8.59 million the previous year.

The country’s raw sugar demand was six percent lower at 343,597 MT.

The total sugarcanes milled declined by 24 percent to 3.71 million MT.

In terms of refined sugar, production decreased by 30 percent to 110,654 MT.

Meanwhile, mill gate price of sugar went up by three percent to P1,515 per 50-kilo bag.

In some markets, however, retail prices decreased to P45 from P56 per kilo.

The Philippines has allocated bulk of its target production for the crop year for  the domestic market amid an expected relatively flat output.

For the new crop year which started in September 2019 and will end in August this year, the Philippines expects to produce 2.096 million MT of sugar.

This is a measly 1.1 percent increase from last crop year’s production of 2.072 million MT.

The country needs to maintain at least 2.2 million MT in supply to meet local demand.

Domestic food processing and beverage sectors will continue to expand, while consumers adjust to the increased sugar taxes.

Almost all sugar produced in the Philippines is consumed locally where roughly 50 percent of domestic consumption is accounted for by industrial users, 32 percent by households, and the remaining 18 percent by institutions.

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