Politics

Arrival window for imported sugar extended to Oct. 31

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THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said the arrival period for sugar ordered overseas to supplement domestic supply has been extended to the end of October due to shipping delays.

Sugar Order (SO) No. 3 series of 2022-2023 issued by the SRA on Oct. 19 extended the arrival deadline for the 200,000 metric tons (MT) of foreign sugar authorized for import to Oct. 31.

“The deadline for application for SRA Clearance for release of imported sugar has been extended to Sept. 30, 2022 and the arrival date of any imported sugar for this program is also extended to Oct. 31, 2022,” according to the order.  

“The SRA received request(s) to change the arrival date of any imported sugar for the above-said importation program due to vessel delays and lack of availability of container vans being experienced not just regionally but also globally,” it added.

In February, the SRA issued SO No. 3 series of 2021-2022 allowing imports of 200,000 MT of sugar for crop year 2021-2022. Industrial users will also be allowed to transfer and sell part or all of their imported sugar allocation to other industrial users or assignees.

According to the SRA, import allocations for 9,194 MT of refined sugar have yet to apply for SRA clearance.

The industrial users inquiring about transferring their supply told the SRA that their shipments have arrived but are not immediately needed.

Meanwhile, “there are industrial users who… are still in urgent need to augment their sugar supply,” it added.

Asked to comment, United Sugar Producers Federation President Manuel R. Lamata said in a Viber message that the new order will benefit consumers and the industry.

The transfers “will bring down the very high retail prices. The industrials have agreed to this scheme to help the government and consumers. (SO No. 3) will not affect us farmers,” Mr. Lamata said.  

The Department of Agriculture (DA) estimates the price of refined sugar as of Oct. 20 at P100 per kilogram (/kg).

The DA has said it will sell refined sugar at P70/kg in Kadiwa outlets and SRA offices in Quezon City and Bacolod City. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave