PH cuts sugar export allocation for US market
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has cut its export allocation to the United States to secure ample supply for the domestic market as the industry grapples with productivity issues and huge budget cuts.
In an interview on the sidelines of the 7th Global Bioenergy Partnership at the Philippine International Convention Center, SRA chief Hermenegildo Serafica said the industry could ship only 120,000 metric tons of sugar to the United States, down 12 percent from the previous allocation of 136,201 MT, due to lower sugar output.
For this year, the Philippines started shipping sugar to the United States in February as part of its quota under a preferential trade arrangement, which allows the country to sell sugar to the US at a premium.
“The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has reallocated the shortfall of our volume to other countries so it will still be served,” Serafica said.
The projected sugar production for the current crop year was lowered by 8 percent to 2.08 million MT from 2.25 million MT.
According to the Confederation of Sugar Producers Association, the decline was mainly due to the lack of manpower and climate change, which have been pestering the industry for the last two years.
This develops as the Department of Budget and Management slashed the allocation for the Sugar Industry Development Act to P67 million from P2 billion under the government’s Tier 1 budget for 2020.
Nonetheless, Serafica said there was no need to import sugar, reinforcing the stand of sugar planters and millers to no longer push through with liberalization.
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