June 27, 2018
Philippine Daily Inquirer (Karl R. Ocampo) | https://goo.gl/tJUBt4
Nine of the country’s 12 sugar refineries have stopped operations earlier than usual this crop year due to the 15 percent drop in cane production.
Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Hermenegildo Serafica said that as of this week, only three refineries have remained operational – Central Azucarera Don Pedro, Inc. in Luzon, Busco Sugar Milling Company Inc. in the Visayas and Lopez Sugar Corp. in Mindanao.
Usually, sugar refineries suspend operations by July or August when the crop season ends. But with the decline in cane output to 2.064 million metric tons (MT) from 2.437 million MT last year, companies had been forced to close earlier.
Firms that stopped operations are URC-Carsumco, Luisita Sugar Refinery, Biscom Inc., First Farmers Holding Corp., URC-Ursumco, URC-Sonedco, Victorias Milling Co., Hideco Sugar Milling Co., Davao Sugar Central Co Inc.
Due to lower output, sugar prices have risen.
The wholesale price of raw sugar surged by 42 percent to P2,148 per 50-kilogram bag (LKg) last week from P1,507.71 per LKg at the start of the year, while retail prices have risen by 10.48 percent to P52.72 a kilo from P47.56 a kilo.