SRA allows advanced refining of sugar to ensure supply

April 11, 2024
Malaya Business Insight |

The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has issued a circular allowing the advance refining of raw sugar that were earlier classified as reserves through Sugar Order (SO) number 2 series of 2023-2024.

This will ensure sufficient stocks of refined sugar as   refineries are nearing the close of operations for the current crop year.

Under  Memorandum Circular number 6 series of 2023-2024, advance refining is authorized. Holders of reserve raw sugar under SO2 are told to submit notarized letters of application and stamped permits, among others for refining.

The circular assured that after refining, sugar supply  in this latest program will be strictly monitored and accounted for to ensure it is not diverted to the  market prematurely to avoid dampening mill prices.

The circular added an advance refining fee of P5 per 50 kg bag (LKG) will be collected for authorized applications.

Meanwhile, a penalty of P100 per LKG will be slapped on those who will refine sugar without proper documentations for the first offense and  P150 per LKG  for second offense. Third time offenders will be fined    as much as P200 per LKG and  their   licenses will be suspended or cancelled.

“Because of SO2, farmers are getting P2,800 per bag which is fair. The raw sugar which was enrolled will be kept as reserved for a max(imum) of 90 days but the holders of the sugar are now allowed to have it refined, but it will be kept as reserved,” said Pablo Azcona, SRA administrator.

“This needs to be done as milling is coming an end and the refineries will stop running. So, those who want their sugar  refined can now get it refined,” Azcona added.

SO2 which was issued by the SRA last month, allowed stakeholders to voluntary purchase a total of 300,000 metric tons of locally produced raw sugar to be turned into reserve stocks.

In turn, those who have purchased local raw sugar for reserves will  be given priority in future government programs on sugar importation.

SRA said SO2 was necessary to increase the local mill gate prices of sugar above production cost.

Based on Department of Agriculture’s monitoring of public markets in the National Capital Region, prevailing retail price as of last Monday ranged from P75 to P100 per kg for refined sugar, P64 to P90 per kg for washed sugar and P63 to P90 per kg for brown sugar.

SRA millsite monitoring showed composite price of raw sugar as of March 24 was at P2,750 per LKG.