No need to rush sugar imports, says local industry
There is no need to rush the entry of more imported sugar into the Philippines as domestic production is at its peak and the country has enough supply to meet the local demand for this sweetener, according to local sugar industry players.
Ma. Mitzi Mangwag and Pablo Luis Azcona, who represent millers and planters, respectively, at the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) board, stressed that there were no supply problems in the country at this time.
Latest data from the SRA showed that total raw sugar supply reached 923,953 metric tons as of Dec. 25, 2022, up by 6.22 percent from 869,851 MT in the same period the previous year.
Likewise, total refined sugar stockpile stood at 592,602.26 MT, a year-on-year increase of 33.26 percent from 444,684.60 MT.
“There is even imported refined sugar that has not yet been withdrawn from the warehouses. We still have a lot of stock,” Mangwag said.
Azcona added that the milling season is already at its peak and the Philippines has “so much supply.”
“Negros is running full swing. Batangas will open. Cagayan, northernmost Cagayan Valley, will open also [in] January,” he said.
Given this, they said there was no need at this time to import sugar, although the government had already given the go-ahead to bring in more sugar through the minimum access volume mechanism to arrest rising prices.