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Sugar Order 7 OKs import of 150k tons to boost stocks

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The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has released Sugar Order No. 7, authorizing the importation of 150,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar to cover the projected supply gap and increase the country’s buffer stock.

Released on July 6, 2023, the order mandates eligible importers who are granted allocations to ensure their respective allocated volumes arrive in the country no later than September 15, 2023.

In May, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the importation of up to 150,000 MT of sugar to stabilize the price and boost the country’s stock.

The latest order was signed by Mr. Marcos, who as the concurrent secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) chairs the SRA, along with Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, SRA acting administrator Pablo Luis Azcona, and SRA acting board member Ma. Mitzi Mangwag, representing the millers’ sector.

“Any imported volume of refined sugar that arrives under this sugar order shall be classified as ‘C’ (Reserve Sugar) subject to future disposition or reclassification, as SRA deems necessary,” SO7 read.

The order also provides sanctions and penalties for eligible importers who fail to bring in any of their imported refined sugar allocation or raw sugar allocation on or before the designated deadline.

This is the second import program approved by the SRA for 2023, following Sugar Order No. 6, which authorized the importation of 440,000 metric tons of sugar.

“Despite the release of Sugar Order 06 import program series [for] 2022-2023, the further reduction of sugar production volume for Crop Year 2022-2023 is forecasted due to early start and early end of million, and in anticipation of the possible shortage of supply and to bridge the gap between the supply and the demand, the SRA finds it imperative to open a second import program to address the demand for CY 2022-2023,” the order read.

The intention of the import program “is to ensure a sufficient actual supply of sugar for domestic consumption, as well as a two-month buffer stock,” it added.

According to SRA forecast inventory, the country will have a negative ending stock of 552,835 MT by the end of August 2023, or the end of the milling season.

Importing another 100,000 MT to 150,000 MT of sugar was necessary to avert a shortfall, the sugar regulator said.

Although the country has a sufficient supply of raw sugar with a beginning stock of 160,000 MT as of May 7, 2023, it will still need to import an additional 100,000 to 150,000 MT of sugar within the year, the agency added.

According to the SRA, the expected local production of 2.4 million MT and the 440,000 MT allowed to be imported under SO6, as well as the 64,050 MT under the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) mechanism, are insufficient to cover the 3.1 million MT demand. With Othel V. Campos


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