The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) expects lower sugar production for the current crop year of 2.10 million metric tons (MT) from the previously projected 2.19 million MT.
SRA said Tuesday that the lower projection was due to La Niña that become “more severe than initially expected that it brought heavy rains in all sugar-producing regions even flooding in several sugarcane fields.”
Some of the areas affected by the flooding were in the top sugar-producing province Negros Occidental, particularly Silay, Victorias, and Cadis.
According to SRA, sugar content in cane determined through 50-kilo bag sugar per ton cane is essentially lower.
Based on the latest report of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), La Niña is expected to last longer than previously reported.
The Philippines’ sugar crop year starts in September and ends in August of the following year.
Meanwhile, the regulatory body also suspended sugar allocation for export to the United States during the current crop year amid the projected shortfall.
In a Sugar Order (SO) 1-A dated 30 March, the SRA amended SO 1, which allotted 7 percent of the country’s forecasted sugar production for the year to ‘A’ sugar or sugar exports to the US.
SO 1-A also classified 100 percent of the sugar production as ‘B’ sugar, which is allotted for local consumption.
“As I have repeatedly stressed in my correspondences, it is unconscionable to export if eventually, we are to import which will again prompt the resurgence of calls to liberalize which industry stakeholders have been fighting against, knowing that this will kill the sugar industry,” SRA Board Member Emilio Yulo said.
As of February, the national sugar production is at 1.22 million MT — still 965,375 MT short to attain the projected national sugar production.
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