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PBBM approves further sugar imports totaling up to 150 000 metric tons.

To increase the nation’s supply and maintain prices, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. authorized extra imports of up to 150,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar on Monday.

This event happened after Marcos met with the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s millers-representing board member Ma. Mitzi Mangwang and acting administrator Pablo Luis Azcona.

“We decided to import more sugar to keep the price stable. The maximum will likely be fewer than 150,000 MT, according to Marcos.

“The exact amount will be determined once we have determined the exact amount of supply, which will come at the end of this month,” he continued.

Additionally present at the meeting were Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, and SRA Board Secretary Rodney Rubrica.

He declared that all dealers would be able to import sugar.

To increase efficiency, Marcos claimed he also agreed to extend the start of the milling season from August to September this year.

That’s crucial for the roughly 10% rise in production that follows, according to Marcos.

He also directed the SRA to speed up block farming programs, which combine small agricultural lots into at least 30-hectare blocks to boost productivity.

There are currently 21 block farms with an average size of 40 hectares each in the nation.

“Agro-industrial production includes consolidation as a crucial component. To hasten the process of organizing the block farms, he said we’re looking at boosting the funding for block farming.

By the end of August 2023, when the milling season ends, the country would have a negative ending stock of 552,835 MT, according to the SRA projection inventory, underscoring the necessity of importing 100,000 MT to 150,000 MT of sugar to prevent a shortage.

According to the SRA, the nation will have a sufficient raw sugar supply as of May 7, 2023, with a starting stock of 160,000 MT.

According to the regulatory body, importation is still required because the 3.1MMT demand cannot be met by the 2.4MMT local production that is anticipated, the 440,000 MT that can be imported under Sugar Order No. 6, s. 2022–2023, or the 64,050 MT under the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) mechanism.

The issuing of SO No. 6 has pleased sugar farmers, according to Azcona, who also informed Marcos that the average farmgate price of raw sugar for the current calendar year (CY) is PHP62/kg.

This is more expensive than the average farmgate price in CY 2021–2022 of PHP 38/kg.

Azcona claimed that by minimizing the milling of young canes, starting the milling season in September would improve raw sugar recovery.

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