THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said that sugar production in the third week of November was down 29.05% year-on-year.
The agency reported that sugar production was 216,996 metric tons (MT), down from 305,850 MT a year earlier. The current output level is equivalent to 4.339 million 50-kilo bags.
SRA Board Sugar Producers’ Representative Emilio Bernardino L. Yulo said that the decline in production was influenced by sugar farmers who opted to reduce their milling activity and the El Niño conditions during the previous planting season.
“We will see if it will pick up during the middle and late milling part of the season,” he said in a text message.
The crop year for sugar starts each September and ends in August the next year.
Demand for raw sugar declined 10.94% to 271,416 MT.
Total sugarcane milled declined 25.98% year-on-year to 2.598 million MT.
Refined sugar production fell 37.38% year-on-year to 75,831.55 MT.
The millgate price increased 1.83% to P1,516 per 50-kilo bag, while retail prices ranged from P45 to P50 per kilo, down from P54 to P64 a year earlier.
Target raw sugar production for this crop year is 2.096 million MT, down 5% year-on-year, due to weather, and a decline in the area planted to sugar, as well as possible shifts in planting in favor of other crops. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang