Marcos’ move to nix sugar imports cheered
The United Sugar Producers Federation, Asociacion de Agricultores de La Carlota y Pontevedra Inc. (AALCPI) and La Carlota Mill District Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LCMDMPC) cheered President Marcos’ decision to scrap initial plans to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar.
The sugar groups said importing the sweetener at this time was “ill-advised’’ given that five mills in Negros Occidental, the country’s largest sugar-producing province, have resumed operations.
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) earlier issued an order to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar to tame surging prices and shore up depleted local supply given increasing demand. The order, however, was subsequently rejected “in no uncertain terms” by Mr. Marcos, a move that AACLPI and LCMDMPC general manager David Alba welcomed.
Alba said in a statement that based on data from the SRA, four million bags of sugar have already entered the country. He, however, claimed that the imported supply had not been accessed by ordinary buyers as these had already been cornered by industrial users.
As such, the groups called on the government to “release this sugar for the benefit of the consumers and retailers.”
Earlier this week, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Food Exporters (Philfoodex) and Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) asked the Marcos administration to ramp up sugar importation to address the supply shortage and rising prices.
“We humbly urge the Marcos administration to allow the importation of sugar as a precautionary measure to address the shortage in the supply and the increasing prices of refined sugar and sweetened food and beverage products,” PCCI, Philfoodex and Philexport said.
As of the July 29 monitoring of the SRA, a kilogram of refined sugar retails from P70.50 to P115 in supermarkets and P90 to P96 in wet markets, significantly higher than the prices this time last year of P50 to P63 per kg in supermarkets; and P50 to P58 per kg in wet markets.
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