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NEWS UPDATES 18 July 2009

Bad weather hits Philippine sugar output

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Philippines’ sugar production has suffered a double-digit drop for the crop year 2008-2009 due to typhoons that ravaged plantations during the period, the Manila Times quoted the government as saying Friday.

According to Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Rafael Coscolluela, sugar production dropped by 15 percent to 2.09 million metric tons (MT) from 2.4 million MT in 2007 and 2008 crop year.

Coscolluela said Panay Island suffered the biggest fall at 32 percent among the sugar-producing regions, followed by Negros Occi?dental at 12 percent. “Panay suffered the most with 32-percent drop in production, maybe because of Typhoon Frank,” Coscolluela said.

The rest of the country also posted double-digit drops, led by Visayas at 29 percent while Luzon and Mindanao both posted 13-percent decrease in production.

Although sugar production decreased, Coscolluela said demand for raw and refined sugar rose by 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Despite the higher withdrawals, sugarcane farmers are not earning well because millgate or farmgate prices are not rising apace with production cost, The SRA official said.


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