Sugar Regulatory Administration chief Ma. Regina Bautista-Martin yesterday said figures coming in indicate a decrease in the country’s sugar production this crop year.
SRA is looking at a 2.2 million metric tons production output for this crop year that is subject to verification over the holidays, she said.
The initial estimate at the beginning of crop year was 2.4 million metric tons, she pointed out.
“We will be certain about the figures in January,” Martin said.
Martin said because of indicators showing a deficit in production, she cannot in conscience allocate more sugar for the world market for now until the final figures are in, or there might not be enough sugar for domestic consumption.
She said there is a lot of sugar buying and she believes that domestic millgate prices will go up.
The SRA, through its own agriculturist, with the assistance and in coordination with the mill district development councils, is verifying reports of a projected decrease in production this crop year, she said.
Actual weekly production against the previous year indicate a very large increase at 74.58 percent, but planters are claiming that the harvested canes per hectare is lower by 20 percent, a little higher than SRA’s initial report of 18 percent.
Sugar produced per ton cane milled is higher by 14 percent, or about 0.24 lkg/tc, referring to sweetness of the canes. Given this, the sensitivity analysis reveal that the increase could not compensate for the decreased cane tonnage, she said.
Another consideration is the additional 6 percent increase in expanded land area planted to sugarcane noted by SRA staff in the Visayas, she added.
Some farms have already completed harvesting sooner than projected, because of stunted canes, she said, noting the possibility of a shorter milling period.
Latest sugar prices furnished by Martin show B or domestic sugar selling at prices ranging at P1,230.08 to P1,279.98 per Lkg.*CPG