Sugar Regulatory Administrator Ma. Regina Martin yesterday said sugar prices this week have dropped by about P50 to P100 per Lkg.
“There was bidding or negotiated sales this afternoon. However, sugar prices dropped. The Value Added Tax on raw sugar is causing uncertainty in the sugar industry and is driving sugar prices down,” Enrique Rojas, president of the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, said.
Hopefully, sugar prices will normalize when the VAT issue with the Bureau of Internal Revenue is clarified, he added.
Manuel Lamata, president of the United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines, said yesterday morning one bid was lower by P200 per Lkg compared to last week.
Lamata, whose UNIFED is among five planters groups that are asking the court to stop the BIR from imposing tax on raw sugar, said “This is the end of the sugar industry courtesy of the Aquino administration.”
Lamata has pointed out that while the country’s sugar industry is trying to bring down the costs of domestic sugar to survive amid the threat of the entry of highly subsidized cheap imported sugar when tariffs drop to a nominal 5 percent in 2015, the BIR has exacerbated the problem.
On Wednesday Martin said that, initially, the traders were uncertain about the effect of the TRO on the new BIR revenue regulation on raw sugar. Eventually, however, when they were clarified, bidding resumed and quedans were sold, she said.
“The drop in prices is part of the usual flow of trend. Hopefully when the issue on VAT on raw is solved, this may improve,” she said.
Early milling prices are usually higher then starts to taper off when milling starts to peak, she also said.
“We are seeing an early rise of volume of canes milled”, she said.
As of yesterday eight sugar mills and five refineries were operation in Negros, and one mill in Panay, she also said.*CPG