Rethink policy on imports of molasses, gov’t urged | Inquirer Business
Demand is ‘soft and slow,’ says industry group

Rethink policy on imports of molasses, gov’t urged

/ 08:47 AM February 22, 2023

The government should rethink a proposal to allow the importation of molasses as inventories are more than enough to meet the requirement for producing bioethanol, the Philippine Sugar Millers Association Inc. (PSMA) said.

“We have sufficient supply. There is no national emergency or shortage of molasses. We do not need to import more molasses specifically for bioethanol production,” said PSMA executive director Jesus Barrera.

“Local molasses production is on the upswing, and our demand has been soft and slow. Molasses inventories are building up that there has been an overflow in molasses tanks in some mills in recent months,” added Barrera.


Data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) showed that molasses production stood at 502,572.14 metric tons as of Feb. 5, an increase of 2.03 percent from 492,552.58 MT in the same period last year.


On the other hand, demand for molasses declined by 17.50 percent to 369,176.14 MT from 447,485.43 MT.

The national inventory for the reference period rose by 8.48 percent to 274,752.89 MT from 253,280.67 MT.

“SRA records show that our total molasses balance, mill site, was 162,987 metric tons in end-October 2022 and 185,360 metric tons in end-November 2022,” Barrera said.

Volume increase

PSMA noted the country imported 608,310 MT molasses for potable alcohol and animal feeds as of end-2022, an increment of 80 percent from the previous year.

In January this year alone, molasses imports surged by 80 percent to 88,702 MT.

Molasses, a thick and dark syrup made during the sugar-making process, is a raw material used in producing bioethanol.


Under the Biofuels Act of 2006, all liquid fuels for motors and engines sold in the Philippines must be blended with biofuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol.

The law defines bioethanol as those produced from feedstock and other biomass.

The US Department of Agriculture had said the government was studying increasing the ethanol blends in gasoline on a voluntary basis up to 20 percent.

Currently, the required blend of ethanol for gasoline is 10 percent.

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The foreign agency noted the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas echoed its concern on the country’s heavy reliance on refined petroleum product imports and a Senate energy committee’s meeting held last June pushed the Department of Energy to consider raising the mandated blends. INQ

TAGS: import molasses, sugar, sugar millers

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