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September saw lower sugar prices as the milling season got underway.

As milling activities began the following week, the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) predicted that sugar prices on the domestic market should start to decline by September.

PCAFI president Danilo Fausto stated that sugar millers’ daily capacity is 8,000 metric tons (MT) in a radio broadcast on Saturday.

According to him, the 200,000 MT importation made possible by Sugar Order (SO) No. 3, which was issued in February, has now reached the local market and should help to increase local supply and lower sugar costs.

“Import na tayo ng 200,000 metric tons simultaneously with May through July. The percentage of 86 to 90 percent is depressing. As a result, the local supply will now be boosted (We imported 200,000 metric tons from May to July), palagay ko, maitatawid na natin ito dahil ang alam ko ‘yung mga sugar mill, mag-start na ng milling by next week. 86 to 90% of them have already arrived. Because I am aware that sugar mills will begin processing sugar by the end of next week, I believe these can meet demand, he added.

As other elements, such as the price of energy and fertilizer, will be taken into account, he is unsure of how large the fall in sugar prices will be.

The effects of Typhoon Odette in December 2021 and other natural disasters on sugar producers and millers prompted the Sugar Regulatory Authority to authorize the importation of 200,000 MT of sugar via SO No. 3.

Typhoons in the latter part of the previous year caused the production to fall from the anticipated 2.1 million MT to between 1.8 million and 1.9 million MT, according to Fausto.

Approximately 50% of the sugar produced is used by industry, 30% is consumed by households, and 20% is used by institutions like restaurants and hospitals.

The head of PCAFI agreed with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s decision to obstruct the new 300,000 MT sugar imports because supply is anticipated to increase in the upcoming months.

‘Tama si Presidente na ‘wag papasukin ‘yung 300,000 [MT] kasi mag-uumpisa na ‘yung milling at saka ‘yung harvest eh (The President is right in blocking the 300,000 MT since milling and harvest will soon begin),’ added Fausto.

The milling and harvesting seasons are the best times to avoid importing sugar, he continued, as doing so would harm local farmers and industry workers.

According to Fausto, the sugar sector directly employs 700,000 people and indirectly supports between five and six million people.

He noted that because of importation, almost 100,000 people in the sugar business may lose their employment.

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