BACOLOD City- The Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations (CONFED) is asking the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to check sugar stocks following slow movement of sugar withdrawals that might be causing the drop in mill gate prices by P50 per kg in the last two weeks.
CONFED spokesman Raymond Montinola said they are wondering why appetite for domestic sugar has gone down despite the election season as evidenced by sugar stock balances warehouses in sugar areas.
The sugar stocks balances for domestic supply as of March 17, 2019 (per SRA record) is 41% more compared to the 2017-2018 sugar crop year.
Montinola said the recent figures showed that sugar stocks totalled 1,092,763.10 metric tons (64,859.35 MT in raw sugar and 450,762.75 MT refined sugar).
That is an excess over last crop year of 321,948.81 metric tons of sugar in our supply chain, he added.
Last week, the warehouse of the First Farmers Holdings, Corp. (FFHC) and Hawaiian Philippine Co. (HPCo) was reportedly inspected by SRA and it showed maximum capacity stocking.
In fact, these sugar mills are now clearing areas in their district for temporary storage units as they expect slow withdrawal of sugar in the next weeks that will follow, Montinola said.
The same report was noted both in the northern and southern sugar mills in the province of Negros Occidental, he added.
Composite prices today has dropped at farm gate level for raw sugar to P1,450/lkg- 50 kilo bag (P29/kilo) from P1,500. /lkg (P30/kilo) two weeks ago.
We suspect that sugar in the retail market might be coming outside of the domestic production. Montinola said.
He added that this is why CONFED recently requested SRA to consider holding out any sugar importation as there is enough sugar stock balances in the farmgate level as evidence by their sugar report.
Should SRA find it necessary to bring in sugar it must be done in July , Montinola said saying that such sugar imports must be in refined form and will only be for the use of beverage companies.
Once more we extend to SRA our cooperation to assist the local food manufacturers to avail of affordable sugar at our sugar mills district for their ingredients.