Sugar output down in March

April 14, 2021
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star)  |

MANILA, Philippines — Local sugar production dropped three percent to 1.54 million metric tons (MT) in the fourth week of March, according to the latest data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA),

Based on preliminary figures from the SRA as of March 28, raw sugar production was lower than the 1.58 million MT registered in the same period in the previous crop year.

The sugar crop year starts every September and ends in August.

Output in terms of 50-kilogram bags for the current crop year reached 30.75 million, down from 31.67 million in the same period a year ago.

This brought the current raw sugar supply to 1.79 million MT, lower than the 1.83 million MT in the same period in the previous crop year.

The SRA recently adjusted its sugar production target for the current crop year to 2.1 million MT from its earlier target of 2.19 million MT.

It also terminated the seven percent export allocation to the US for the current crop year, which means 100 percent of the country’s sugar output for the year will go to the domestic market.

The SRA issued the amendment order due to the more severe than initially expected impact of the La Nina, which brought heavy rains in all sugar producing regions, even flooding several sugar cane fields in Negros Occidental particularly in Silay, EB Magalona, Victorias, Manapla and Cadiz.

Sugar stakeholders said the revised target was unlikely to be met due to the prolonged effects of La Niña.

Meanwhile, SRA data also showed that demand for raw sugar increased by 7.27 percent to 1.15 million MT.

The total sugarcanes milled also rose 5.24 percent to 18.4 million MT.

Refined sugar production declined by 16.03 percent to 476,312 MT.

The mill-gate price of sugar inched up by 12.74 percent to P1,633 per 50-kilo bag.