Raw sugar production up 3%

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Raw sugar production up 3%
Figures from the SRA showed that raw sugar production reached 1.02 million metric tons as of Feb. 6, higher than the 989,204 MT in the same period last year.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s sugar production continued to grow in the first week of February, but at a slower pace of three percent, according to the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

Figures from the SRA showed that raw sugar production reached 1.02 million metric tons (MT) as of Feb. 6, higher than the 989,204 MT in the same period last year.

The growth rate is slightly lower than the 3.1 percent increase registered in the week before from 910,212 MT to 938,540 MT.

Output in terms of 50-kilogram bags reached 20.3 million, higher than the 19.78 million bags a year ago.

This brought the current raw sugar supply up by 2.3 percent to 1.27 million MT.

The sugar crop year starts every September and ends in August.

SRA data also showed that demand for raw sugar rose by 13.31 percent to 832,051 MT.

Meanwhile, refined sugar production grew by 42 percent to 353,779.1 MT. The total sugarcane milled increased by 0.78 percent to 12.09 million MT.

Earlier this month, the SRA recalibrated its pre-final crop estimate of raw sugar production for the current crop year to 2.072 million MT, lower than the earlier projection of 2.099 million MT.

This was after assessing the damage caused by Typhoon Odette to sugarcane crops, sugar stocks at warehouses, as well as facilities and equipment of sugar mills and refineries in key sugar milling districts.

Data from the Department of Agriculture- Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center showed that sugarcane damage due to Typhoon Odette reached P1.15 billion, accounting for 8.6 percent of the total agricultural damage.

The lower raw sugar production estimate led the SRA to approve the importation of 200,000 MT of refined sugar, due to a projected tightness in sugar stock at the end of the milling season.

However, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 73 in Sagay, Negros Occidental recently issued an order preventing the SRA to implement the sugar order allowing imports.

The TRO was a result of a complaint filed with the court for injunction with a prayer of the issuance of a TRO by the Rural Sugar Planters Association, represented by its president Joseph Edgar Sarrosa, on the SRA’s recent sugar order.

Various sugar groups have slammed the decision of the SRA to allow imports, saying it is ill-timed as sugar milling is at its peak. They emphasized that this would also further hurt farmers who are already suffering from high cost of farm inputs due to skyrocketing fertilizer and fuel prices.


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