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8 June 2010

SRA vows action against supply fiddlers

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Government regulator says no reason to implement price increase

The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) warned industry players on Monday not to toy with sugar prices and vowed sanctions against those who fiddle with supply.

SRA Administrator Bernardo Trebol said there is absolutely no reason why the retail price of the basic commodity should rise.

Based on data gathered from the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, the price of sugar has gradually increased starting from the fourth week of April, 2010 in which refined sugar retailed for as low as P45; washed at P42; and brown at P40. By the first week of June 2010, refined sugar retailed for as high as P55; washed at P49; and brown at P46.

He stressed that the available supply of sugar in the warehouses of the sugar mills still exceeds 600,000 metric tons.

This volume even excludes the inventory in the warehouses of traders and wholesalers, Trebol added.

“While it is true that the milling season has ended,” Trebol said, “we still have enough supply of sugar for our requirement up to the next milling season.”

He promised action against profiteers who want to make a killing on account of an artificial shortage.

“We will not allow unscrupulous businessmen to create a situation where they will project a picture of shortage in the supply to their own advantage. We will work with other government agencies and run after the retailers who are unnecessarily increasing the prices of their sugar,” Trebol promised.

Government initiated an import program through the National Food Authority (NFA) last March for a total volume of 150,000 metric tons of sugar.

Part of this imported sugar has already arrived but the bulk of this volume is expected to come this month and in July.

Trebol assured the consuming public the "we will not allow our country to run out of sugar.” “We assure our consumers,” he added, “that there will always be enough supply of sugar.”

Trebol requested the public to report any overpricing of sugar to SRA so that the agency can go after those who are responsible for profiteering.


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