THE PHILIPPINES is close to hitting its raw sugar production target for the crop year ending August even though output remained sluggish compared to the previous year, an official from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said.
“For the week ending June 7, we have additional production of about 3,332 metric tons (MT) of raw sugar,” SRA Administrator Maria Regina Bautista-Martin said when asked for updates.
“The additional volume brings us to a year-to-date production volume of 2.315 million MT or 93.89% of the target of 2.465 million MT,” Ms. Bautista-Martin said.
The crop year starts in September and ends in August the following year.
The SRA said earlier this month, however, that total output for the entire year could be as low as 2.32 million MT.
Ms. Bautista-Martin said that compared to same period in the preceding crop year, production was still 4.87% lower, the equivalent of 118,567 MT. She said only two mills are yet to close crushing operations but these are also expected to end milling soon.
“Also, it can be noted that the same period in the last crop year, rate of production to the target was already 103.25%,” Ms. Bautista-Martin said.
“Thus, we can say that this crop year, we started strong early up to November but eventually production slowed down by December up until April,” she said.
For refined sugar, meanwhile, Ms. Bautista-Martin said total production as of June 7 was 0.95% higher than the same period in the preceding crop year.
A total of 14,812.6 MT was added that week, bringing the total volume to 1.02 million MT.
“Total cane milled for the week was about 22,702.96 MT,” she said, however noting that year-to-date figures remain off the pace compared with the previous year.
Total cane milled was 23.462 million MT — about 5.19% less compared to the past year, Ms. Bautista-Martin said.
Earlier this month, the SRA announced a zero export allocation for the United States (US) for this crop year due to the dry spell in the Philippines.
The US sugar quota had been 5%, but now all local production is 100% allocated for the domestic market.
The Philippines was supposed to ship out about 138,000 MT of its production to the US under Washington’s tariff-rate quota (TRQ) scheme.
The TRQ scheme allows countries to export specified quantities of a product to the US at a low tariff.
Ms. Bautista-Martin said the zero allocation will not affect future export quotas.
In March, the Philippines also zeroed out the 5% allocation for non-US markets in favor of domestic supply.
The Agriculture department had said that as of May, El Niño caused over P2 billion worth of damage to crops and has affected over 25,000 hectares of rice valued at around P1 billion.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/the-philippines-sugar-production-near-target)