BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental: Sugar planters here have expressed alarm over a continuing drop in sugar prices in the domestic market that they blamed on beverage firms’ importation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from China and South Korea.
Manuel Lamata, president of the United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines, said the sugar prices dropped from P1,475 per 50-kilogram bag last week to P1,383.
Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Anna Rosario Paner attributed the drop in prices to an overhang in last year’s sugar importation.
Based on information from the Bureau of Customs, Paner said “no new HFCS [had]been brought into the country in the past two weeks.”
The SRA chief added that she does not believe there is still massive unused HFCS in the country.
Those who import it usually bring enough for immediate consumption, Paner said.
The SRA “is working to arrest drop in sugar prices,” she added.
“I have been talking to some industrial users if they can come forward and purchase the excess sugar to flush it out of the system so prices can hopefully find the correct level,” Paner said.
EUGENE Y. ADIONG