Sugar prices down by P10: SRA

By Clara Mae Hortelano

* The dip in sugar prices was due to the sugar traders' apprehensions that prices will increase because of surplus in sugar production this year

THE Sugar Regulatory Administration confirmed that prices of sugar decreased by P10 this month, compared to prices the previous months.

Dr. Rodrigo Tapay, SRA manager for Negros and Panay, said prices of "A" sugar in Negros Occidental was pegged at P963 per LKG, P10 lower compared to last month's.

"B" sugar is currently at P790 per LKG, also P10 lower than its price in the previous months.

Tapay said the dip in sugar prices was due to the sugar traders' apprehensions that prices will increase because of surplus in sugar production this year.

The country, Tapay noted, has a total sugar production of 2.1 million metric tons for Crop Year 2002-2003 that exceeded SRA's 1.9 million metric tons projected production.

To assure the traders, Tapay said the drastic drop in sugar prices is just normal because the country has a surplus in sugar production.

No smuggling

He clarified that the decrease in prices is not because of sugar smuggling. "We have received unconfirmed reports of sugar smuggling in the south, specifically in Zamboanga and some other areas, but it is only very minimal," said Tapay.

He, however, hinted that successive smuggling may affect the sugar industry.

Tapay further said sugar smuggling exists in areas where mills are not available.

But SRA's Anti-Sugar Smuggling Task Force closely verifies reports to stop smuggling, he added.

"With the current situation again plaguing the industry, we urge the sugar producers to strive for efficiency so that they would remain competitive in the market," he said.

No control

Tapay said once they already issued the food processors permits to import and manufacture, SRA no longer controls importers' and food processors' use of imported sugar.

Tapay said it is possible for food processors to sell their sugar surplus to traders for domestic consumption.

In an earlier report, sugarplanter Jose Miranda, president of the Bogo-Medellin Planters Association in Cebu City and currently the director of the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, expressed the possibility that smuggling is once again plaguing the sugar industry.

He also said technical smuggling may have been committed by food exporters who may be importing more sugar than is needed by their food processors and selling the surplus to traders for the domestic market.

20/11/2003

Bron : Sun Star

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