SRA sees no need to import sugar amid falling output

Manila Bulletin | Published April 12, 2018, 10:00 PM

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

While the country’s output for domestic sugar remains to be on a downtrend, the Sugar Regulatory Administation (SRA) still doesn’t see a need to push for importation — a situation that the country was able to avoid for two years now.

During its board meeting on Thursday, the SRA board, which is composed of SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica, Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano, SRA Board Member Roland Beltran, and SRA Board Member Bernardino Yulo, came to a consensus that there is no need to import sugar for domestic consumption.

In an interview, Beltran even said there would be enough buffer stock until the next crop year 2018 to 2019.

“There is no shortage of sugar. SRA data show that we will be able to reach our target production with enough buffer stock at the end of the milling season,” Serafica said.

For this crop year —  which started in September last year and will end in August —  sugar production is seen to go down to 2.27 million metric tons (MT) due to heavy rains experienced in Visayas and Mindanao.

But Beltran said in a text message that “majority of our sugar mills are still milling and it will continue doing so until June 2018.”

“Because of this, we anticipate additional production of raw sugar between 600,000 to 700,000 MT. Enough buffer stock until the next crop year 2018 to 2019,” he further said.

According to him, there is “no basis” for speculations being floated around regarding alleged importation plans.

“During the presentation of the regulation department, figures clearly showed that there will be no shortage,” said Yulo.