The Sugar Regulatory Administration has issued an order to strictly allocate all sugar produced during the crop year 2022 to 2023 for domestic consumption to avoid the country’s import dependence.

In its Sugar Order No. 1 series of 2022 to 2023, the SRA said that 100 percent of raw sugar production for the current crop year should be classified as “B” or the domestic sugar market only.

A sugar crop year starts on 1 September and ends on 31 August of the following year. However, the sugar mills and refineries generally stop operations around May to June.

On the other hand, the mills start operations for the next season around September to October while the refineries start around two weeks after the mills.

The Sugar Order No. 1 was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who also chairs the SRA Board.

Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, Acting SRA Administrator David John Thaddeus Alba, and SRA acting board members Ma. Mitiz Mangwag as millers’ representative and Pablo Luis Azcona as planters’ representative also signed the order.

Based on the latest projection of the SRA, the total raw sugar production for the crop year 2022 to 2023 is estimated to reach 1.87 million metric tons, while the total domestic raw sugar withdrawal during the year is pegged at 2.03 million MT.

Historically, the country must have carryover stocks of 250,000 MT of raw sugar and around 200,000 MT to 250,000 MT of refined sugar at the end of any crop year.

Last month, the SRA said that it targets to release an order this month that would allow the importation of about 150,000 MT of sugar by September to arrest the impending price spike of the commodity due to lower domestic supply.

SRA acting administrator David Alba said the agency targets to release the order by mid-September so “its arrival will not interfere with the resumption of operations by our sugar refineries that normally starts mid-November.”

Alba vowed that the order will go through rigorous deliberation so it will have mechanics equitable to all players before submitting the same to Malacañang for final approval.

According to him, the SRA, under his leadership, will follow the president’s tall order to boost local production to ensure that the country’s total sugar requirement of 2.5 million metric tons will be met.

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