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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  19 March  2015  

Rains melt Philippinessugar output forecast

SUGAR output in the Philippines, a key US supplier, is now expected to be below the government's initial forecast of 2.5 million tonnes for the current crop year due to bad weather, prompting the industry regulator to cut allocations for exports.

Raw sugar production in the 2014/15 crop year that ends in August is now expected to reach 2.465 million tonnes, little changed from the 2013/14 output of 2.461 million tonnes, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said yesterday.

As a result, the SRA has decided to allocate more sugar for domestic use, while scrapping the allocation for exports to the world market on top of an annual quota shipment to the United States.

“Rains at the start of the sugar milling season in September affected the maturity of canes in the Visayas region” in central Philippines, SRA Administrator Regina Bautista-Martin told Reuters via text message.

She, however, said sugar shipments to the United States are unaffected.

The US Trade Representative announced in September the total tariff quota for raw sugar at 1.1 million tonnes, with the Southeast Asian country getting the third-biggest allocation of 142,160 tonnes, next to Dominican Republic and Brazil.

A cargo of 29,800 tonnes departed on March 8 for the US , and a 30,000 tonne-shipment will follow by the end of this month or early April, Bautista-Martin said.

Raw sugar output in the current crop year had reached 1.5 million tonnes as of February 15, or 60 percent of the initial forecast, SRA data showed. No year-ago figure was immediately available.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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