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SRA: Sugar prices ‘reasonably fair’

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By Madelaine B. Miraflor

As a response to the call of some food processors for sugar importation, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said the price of sugar has not gone up and that the supply is still enough to cater to current demand.

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“Prices of sugar are reasonably fair. Our production as of May 26, 2019 is 2.1 million metric tons (MT) with three meals still operation,” SRA Board Member Roland Beltran said.

Latest SRA Price Monitoring report showed that the average retail cost of domestic raw sugar has gone down from P1,958.33 per 50-kilo bag in September 2018 to P1,681.67 per 50-kilo bag as of June 7, 2019.

Roberto Amores, President of the Philippine Food Exporters, Inc. (Philfoodex), said last week that the “domestic processors are hurting and high cost of sugar in the local market is killing the local industry but favoring foreign competition.”

PhilFoodex is composed of as much as 12,000 micro, small, medium and large scale food manufacturers and exporters.

In a statement, Raymond Montinola Spokesperson, Confederation of Sugar Producers (CONFED), said his group is opposing the call of the food processors to deregulate the industry and allow open importation of sugar.

“We beg to disagree with Amores because millgate sugar prices has not increased drastically in the past months to warrant a labeling of “prohibitive cost of domestic sugar.”

“It seems that the lobby to liberalize sugar importation in the country is being resurrected again through the food processors and manufacturers who comprise a miniscule market in terms of sugar usage,” he added.

Based on a separate data from, the average millsite price for domestic sugar as of May stands at P1,518.78 per 50-kilo bag, which was only slightly higher than the average April price of P1,504.35 per 50-kilo bag.

Food processors have been allowed in the past to directly import sugar for their needs. In January last year alone, SRA allowed the importation of 150,000 MT of sugar to address the rising cost of the commodity in the country.

SRA also mentioned in the past that they will import sugar when the need arises.

The fact that the same has not been issued means that there is ample sugar in the domestic market for the food processors, Montinola pointed out.
“We suspect that there are larger groups behind this lobby and we will remain vigilant against this move to ensure that our industry is protected,” he further said.

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