Regulator mulls over sugar importation

Regulator mulls over sugar importation



MANILA, Philippines — The government is mulling over allowing the importation of sugar in case of a supply shortfall to ensure stable prices before the next milling season begins, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said on Monday.

SRA Administrator Pablo Luis Azcona said in a remote interview they are studying proposals to bring in imported sugar, however, initiating any importation plans at the moment is “not that urgent yet.”


“When we need to import is still undergoing a study to determine if the demand is maintained, decreasing or increasing,” he said in an interview with reporters via Zoom.


Azcona said an importation plan will be activated if the “trigger point” is hit, meaning if the country’s buffer stock is less than three months’ worth of supply.

READ: PH may reduce sugar importation in 2024, says DA chief

Should the importation round push through, the SRA chief said the plan is to source 185,000 to 200,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar from abroad sometime between July and September or before the planting season begins so that the livelihood of sugar farmers will not be affected.

‘Trigger point’

When asked about the rationale behind setting this “trigger point,” Azcona said it would be based on the historical and actual demand figures and withdrawals—referring to the volume of sugar released from warehouses.

He said it takes about one month to bring in sugar from some countries such as Thailand and have the commodity released by the Bureau of Customs upon inspection.

Azcona said the proposal to procure imported sugar was meant to avoid a decline in local supply to a level that the retail market will be unstable. He recalled a spike in retail prices when sugar was sold for up to P130 per kilogram in 2022.


READ: SRA: ‘No apparent need to import any sugar’ for now

Azcona said as of now, the domestic sugar supply is stable and farmers are enjoying better mill site prices. At the same time, he said the sweetener’s selling price at the retail level decreased.

Citing data from the SRA, he said the country has 1.1 million MT in stock.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

As of Monday, refined sugar is sold from P73 to P100 per kg in Metro Manila markets, compared to P86 to P110 per kg a year ago, based on the Department of Agriculture’s monitoring. INQ

TAGS: importation, sugar

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.