USDA sees PHL sugar output falling to 1.9 MMT

THE Philippines is expected to produce 1.9 million metric tons (MMT) of raw sugar for the marketing year (MY) 2024, which starts in September, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.

It said the projection reflects optimistic planting expectations for the upcoming crop but would represent a decline from its estimate for the ongoing 2022-2023 marketing year of 2 MMT.   

“With the high prices… farmers planted more sugarcane and provided better fertilization by leveraging profits from the previous market year,” the USDA said in a report.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration said raw sugar output fell 14.57% to 1.82 MMT in the previous crop year.

The USDA also expects refined sugar imports to hit 250,000 MT as the government resorted to foreign sugar markets to stabilize consumer prices. The government is also seeking to build up a two-month buffer stock as ordered by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., who is also the Secretary of Agriculture.

“The high volume of refined sugar imports in MY 2023 translates to high carryover stocks in MY 2024 of refined sugar and leaves ample supplies of raw sugar,” the USDA said. 

According to the USDA, the Philippines has imported 854,050 MT of refined sugar since August.

Thse imports include the 150,000 MT authorized by Sugar Order No. 2; 440,000 MT by SO6; 200,000 by SO3, as well as the minimum access volume (MAV) of 64,050 MT. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera