Philippines sugar prices continue to be high as the country's demand continues to outpace local production.
Because local production is still insufficient to meet demand, the country may yet import 425,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar in crop year 2022-2023, said the US Department of Agriculture.
The USDA reduced its output forecast for Philippine sugar from 2 million MT to merely 1.85 MMT in its biennial world sugar report, Business Mirror reported.
Based on historical USDA data, the latest output estimate is a bit higher than the 1.8 MMT recorded production volume in crop year 2021-2022.
With this lower production forecast, USDA sees the Philippines’ sugar import volume reaching a four-year high.
The USDA predicted that from September 2022 to August 2023, the country would import 350,000 MT of refined sugar and 75,000 MT of raw sugar.
It also estimated that the country’s total sugar consumption would decline to 2.2 MMT, which is 4.34 lower than the 2.3 MMT in the previous year.
Meanwhile, the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s (SRA) pre-mill production forecast for the current crop year stood at 1.876 MMT.
A 150,000 MT program to import refined sugar was previously approved by the SRA for the current crop year.
Based on the most recent SRA data, as of November 13, around 146,000 MT of refined sugar imported under the aforementioned program has already arrived in the nation.
Sugar prices reached record highs as a result of the nation's low production during the previous crop year as a result of typhoon damage.
Stakeholders from the sugar industry pointed out that the anemic pre-mill production forecast of the SRA points to one thing-- the need to import more.
SRA data showed that the Philippines’ sugar production as of Nov. 13 increased by 33 percent year-on-year to 392,637 MT driven by higher sugarcane milled.
Data also showed that the total amount of milled sugarcane as of the reference period was 4.682 MMT, which is a 29.11 percent increase over the 3.626 MMT seen during the same period last year.
However, the retail price of sugar remains high despite the higher raw sugar production and entry of imported stocks.
SRA reported that the average retail price of raw sugar in Metro Manila as of Nov. 11 was at P87.535 per kilogram while refined sugar retail price averaged at P101.86 per kilogram.
Tags: #Sugar, #USDA, #SRA