October 18, 2007
Govt orders release of sugar reserve to stabilize prices
Philippine Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap on Tuesday ordered the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to release its sugar reserves to the domestic market this week to keep its supply and prices stable. In his directive to the SRA, Yap ordered the release of Class "C" and Class "D" sugar in the stockpile of the agency to meet local requirements while at the same time taking into account the needs of local food exporters.
The SRA classifies sugar into "A", which refers to stocks for export to meet the country's US sugar quota; "B" or domestic consumption; "B-1" for food processors and exporters needs; and "C" and "D" for reserves. Yap said these sugar reserves "will hit the market this week. We are reserving though, the needs of food exporters to ensure their sugar requirements." According to the SRA, the rainy season had dampened sugar deliveries to the mills, which cut production by as much as 40 per cent.
The price of sugar, which was P36 (US$0.81) per kilo two weeks ago, went up to P40 a kilo last week.
"We would like to assure the public that the situation will revert to normal in about one to two weeks," Yap noted. "Our release of our reserves will address the problem." Meanwhile, the SRA will issue a new sugar allocation order to address the rising retail prices and tight domestic supply of sugar.
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