Sugar prices seen easing

October 18, 2023
Malaya Business Insight |

The Philippine Sugar Millers Association (PSMA) expects the retail price of sugar to be pulled down soon by the current lower mill gate prices.

“Given the lower mill gate prices of sugar at the start of the current crop year 2023-2024, which started in September 1, there should be downward adjustments in retail sugar prices,” said Jesus Barrera, PSMA executive director, in a statement.

However, Barrera said “there is a lag time for the retail market to mirror lower mill gate prices as the sugar moves through the supply pipeline but nevertheless, there should be market adjustments in the retail prices. Otherwise, the drop in farm gate prices do not trickle down and benefit consumers.”

Citing data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), PSMA said mill gate prices last crop year reached an average of P3,021.04 per 50-kilogram bag (LKg) on Sept. 4, 2022, and peaked at P3,798.24 per LKg by Oct. 2, 2022, with mill site prices closing at P 3,000 per LKg.

PSMA said for the current season, average mill gate prices have gone down to P2,825.35 on September 10 and slightly went down to P2,702.73 per LKg on September 17.

The group added sugar price at mill site on October 12 shows farm gate average prices sliding to slightly above P2,500 per LKg with only one mill selling at P2,700 per bag.

“Overall, our mill gate prices in the first six weeks of the new season are way below than last season… It is our sugar producers, particularly our small farmers, that are feeling the squeeze from inflation and lower prices especially now that they are just starting to harvest their crop,” Barrera added.

Earlier, SRA ordered the suspension of the reclassification, distribution and disposal of imported sugar so as not to depress local prices during the ongoing local milling season.

Based on the Department of Agriculture’s monitoring of public markets in the National Capital Region, prevailing retail price as of Monday ranges from P82 to P110 per kg for refined sugar, P79 to P95 per kg for washed sugar and P70 to P95 per kg for brown sugar.