Philippines seeks to import refined sugar to cover shortfall

Philippines seeks to import refined sugar to cover shortfall

A farm worker harvests sugarcane. (Photo supplied)
A farm worker harvests sugarcane. (Photo supplied)

MANILA: The Philippines plans to import 200,000 tonnes of standard and bottler's grade refined sugar to address a supply shortfall caused by crop damage from a powerful typhoon that hit plantations in December, the industry regulator said on Tuesday.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), in a statement, said the Philippines was bracing for a "very tight" sugar stock balance, which will not cover the two-to-three months of demand for refined sugar in between the milling seasons this crop year.

The Southeast Asian country is not a regular sugar importer, but when necessary it usually buys from Thailand, the world's second-largest exporter after Brazil.

After assessing typhoon damage, the Philippines' raw sugar production for 2021-2022 crop year ending Aug. 31 has been revised to 2.072 million tonnes from 2.099 million tonnes, SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica said.

The Philippine Association of Sugar Refineries has also scaled down its refined sugar output estimate for the current crop year to 16.748 million LKg (50kg bag of sugar), from 17.572 million LKg before Typhoon Rai lashed the central and southern regions.

Serafica said tight domestic supply, along with a demand revival as the economy reopens after prolonged pandemic lockdowns, has begun to push prices up, with both raw and refined sugar hitting record highs at wholesale levels.


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