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Sugar prices soar, hit P60/kilo in Metro Manila

- Marianne V. Go -

MANILA, Philippines - Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap has directed the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to submit a new suggested retail price (SRP) for sugar after prices of refined sugar soared to P60 per kilo in several Metro Manila retail outlets.

Market monitoring by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) as of Jan. 23 showed that the prevailing price of refined sugar is P52 per kilo while raw or brown sugar sells for P44 per kilo.

“The consuming public should be informed about the SRP for sugar to prevent overpricing by speculators and unscrupulous wholesalers and retailers who are taking advantage of the current sugar situation,” Yap said.

The SRA recommends a weekly SRP for refined sugar based on monitored millgate prices. SRA administrator Rafael Coscolluela said weekly changes in millgate prices do not automatically reflect in the retail market. “Millgate prices change every week, and there is a lag time of three weeks before these prices are reflected in the retail market,” Coscolluela said.

The SRP for refined sugar is P52.00 per kilo until the end of January. It is expected to rise to P54.00 per kilo in the first week of February, reflecting the current millgate price of P1,900 per 50-kilo bag of raw sugar.

“If we impose an SRP which is not reflective of millgate prices, we could see a tightening of sugar supply in the retail market,” Coscolluela said. “We also don’t want to see the public victimized by overpricing.”

To prevent sugar shortage at the end of the milling season, the government has already decided to import up to 150,000 metric tons of sugar at zero tariff through the National Food Authority (NFA).

The sugar tariff would be paid by the NFA’s tax expenditure subsidy (TES).

“We are waiting for the Executive Order that will authorize NFA to undertake the sugar importation,” Yap said.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY ARTHUR YAP

BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS

COSCOLLUELA

EXECUTIVE ORDER

JAN

KILO

METRO MANILA

NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY

RAFAEL COSCOLLUELA

SUGAR

SUGAR REGULATORY ADMINISTRATION

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