MANILA – The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has revised its sugar allocation for the year to ensure a stable supply of the commodity.
In its order released on Monday, the SRA said the initial projection of national sugar production of 2.19 million metric tons (MT) has dropped to 2.10 million MT due to the prolonged La Niña weather phenomenon that has affected sugar-producing provinces, especially in Negros Occidental particularly in Silay, F.B Magalona, Victoria, Manapla, and Cadiz.
La Niña is a phenomenon that describes cooler than normal ocean surface temperatures in the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean, regions close to the equator off the west coast of South America. In some parts of the world, La Niña causes increased rainfall, while in other regions, it causes extreme dry conditions.
“La Niña was more severe than initially expected that it brought heavy rains in all sugar-producing regions even flooding in several sugarcane fields,” it said.
SRA said the weather phenomenon has lowered the sugar content in cane — from 1.87 LKg/TC (50-kilo bag per ton cane) to 1.71 LKg/TC.
The Philippines’ sugar crop year starts in September and ends in August of the following year.
Each start of the crop year, SRA is mandated to regulate the local sugar industry, deciding how much of the country’s expected sugar production will be for domestic consumption and how much will be exported to the world market to balance the prices.
For this crop year, SRA decided that 7 percent or 153,000 MT of the country’s Class “A” sugar output will be exported to the United States, while the remaining 93 percent or 1.97 million MT will be for Class “B” or domestic sugar.
However, due to the drop in sugar production, SRA has decided to increase to 100 percent the Class “B” sugar and scrap the US allocation.
SRA said the order takes effect immediately covering sugar production of the week ending on April 4, 2021 and subsequent week ending of the crop year 2020-2021. (PNA)