Export of raw sugar to US planned by mid-year

April 25, 2024
The Philippine Star | https://www.philstar.com/business/2024/04/25/2350188/export-raw-sugar-us-planned-mid-year

MANILA, Philippines — The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has started the preparatory work for the country’s export of raw sugar to the US as early as the middle of the year.

SRA administrator and CEO Pablo Luis Azcona said the sugar board is now soliciting proposals from exporters on how to serve the allocation given by the US to the Philippines recently.

“The (SRA) board is awaiting for proposals from the exporters on how to serve [the allocation]. But so far it is positive and everyone wants to serve it,” Azcona told The STAR.

Last month, Washington gave Manila the green light to export 25,300 metric tons raw value (MTRV) of raw sugar to the US at lower tariff rate.

Manila is allowed to fulfill its allocation from the US until Sept. 30.

The shipment of raw sugar to the US is one of the ways that the government thought of to lift domestic farm-gate prices of the commodity by siphoning off some of the country’s supply amid a drop in market demand.

Azcona said one of the things that they are discussing is the manner of how the quota to the US would be allocated among interested exporters.

“There are proposals that exports will be based on the exporter’s support to farmers,” Azcona said.

One of the proposals is to pro-rate the allocation of the exports to the US based on the volume that the eligible exporters bought from farmers under Sugar Order (SO) 2.

The order created a voluntary purchase program that allowed SRA-accredited traders to purchase sugar from local farmers at a premium in exchange of an import privilege in future import programs.

One of the other factors that the SRA board needs to iron out is the prospective replenishment program.

The replenishment program is a historical government program that allows exporters of raw sugar to the US to import a certain volume of sugar based on an approved ratio.

Once the details are finalized, the SRA board will issue a new SO that would authorize the conversion of “B” sugar or domestic sugar to “A” sugar or sugar allocated for exports to the US.

Azcona said the raw sugar shipment to the US could be made between June and July, before the next milling season begins.

At present, all raw sugar produced in the current crop year 2023-2024, which will end on Aug. 31, is allocated for domestic market consumption, based on the SRA’s earlier SO 1.

The country has voluntarily stopped exporting raw sugar to the US in the past two crop years due to domestic supply problems.