Candies and biscuit makers said they will convey to the Sugar Regulatory Administration their plan to directly import sugar in line with the proposed tariffication of the commodity.
The Philippine Confectionery, Biscuit and Snack Association said each member could save at least P500,000 monthly or P6 million annually if the government would allow small manufacturers to directly import sugar.
PCBSA is composed of 19 local producers of candies, snacks and other confectionery products.
“With this cost, any member can expand by another line or create another category to add up to the continuing diversification of the industry,” said PCBSA president Kissinger Sy.
Sy said imported brands were fast eating up the market share of the local candy and biscuits, ending with a 30-percent market share as of 2018, up from just 5 percent in 2010.
He said that despite the diversification and expansion of the local industry, imported candies and biscuits were growing fast enough to compete with local brands.
Demand by the local sweets industry is about 150,000 50-kilogram bags of sugar a month.
The group said members wanted to import sugar at a tariff level that would allow them a certain level of profitability. The group was looking at a 25-percent tariff.
“We would also like to leverage with the local sweetener. If local sugar is cheaper, we hope the SRA will also allow us to buy,” Kissinger said.
The group earlier expressed full support for the government’s plan to liberalize the importation of sugar.
The group’s daily monitoring showed that price of sugar in the world market is about P1,500 per 50-kilo bag, based on a 5-tariff and the current foreign exchange rate.
The group said domestic sugar costs one-and-a-half times the world market price, or about P2,200 per 50-kilo bag.
The proposed tarrification of sugar is seen to help the local confectionery industry to grow 10 to 15 percent annually. The industry is currently worth about P30 billion.