Farmgate prices of raw sugar hit 19-week high

March 26, 2024
The Philippine Star |

MANILA, Philippines — Farmgate prices of raw sugar soared to a 19-week high of over P2,700 per 50-kilogram bag following the government’s implementation of a program that would temporarily siphon off some supply from the market.

Latest data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) showed that the farmgate prices of raw sugar as of March 10 went up by almost three percent to P2,770.65 from the previous week’s P2,695.72.

Historical data showed that this was the highest in the past 19 weeks or since the P2,785 recorded on Oct. 29, 2023.

The price of raw sugar has increased for eight straight weeks as the government intervened to lift prices toward “fair” levels.

The last time that the industry saw a price level of P2,700, which is considered by the industry as fair to both farmers and consumers, was in October 2023.

Earlier this month, the SRA board approved the first-ever voluntary limited volume purchase program that sought to temporarily keep off 300,000 metric tons of raw sugar supply from market circulation.

Under the program, eligible traders will purchase sugar at “premium” prices in exchange for securing an import allocation privilege in future import programs of the government.

These premium prices, SRA administrator Pablo Luis Azcona said, range from P2,700 to P2,800, or about P54 to P56 per kilogram.

At this price range, Azcona said it would stabilize the retail price of refined sugar at P85 per kilogram, which he noted is the “fair” price for consumers.

Under the program, sugar traders who will purchase 1.5 kilograms of raw sugar will be allowed to import one kilogram of the commodity in the future.