Prices of sugar started to go down last week following the government’s move to release additional stocks into the domestic market, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said on Monday.
SRA Administrator Ma. Regina Bautista-Martin said that the effect of the conversion program – which is meant to augment the domestic supply – could be observed by the decrease of sugar prices both in the mill gate and retail market.
As of June 15, mill gate price of domestic sugar was down to P1,635.33 from a high of P1,746.63 in May 2014, or before the conversion program.
Meanwhile, the retail price of refined sugar in groceries was down to P49 per kilo as of June 24 from P50 per kilo on June 13, according to monitoring reports.
“The suggested retail price (SRP) of refined sugar is P50 per kilo,” Martin said.
The SRA chief said there is no reason for prices to spike since the domestic production can cover the requirement for the year, noting that sugar output has already exceeded the target of 2.35 million metric tons (MT) for the crop year ending August.
Martin reiterated the government’s warning against unscrupulous traders and speculators found manipulating sugar prices, saying the agency’s personnel are now deployed in various groceries and wet markets around the country to monitor those selling over the SRP for sugar.
“Those who will be caught will have to come up with a show cause addressed to the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) stating why they have surpassed the SRP,” she added.
Earlier, the SRA, through Sugar Orders No. 10 and 11, ordered the reclassification of 90,000 MT of “D” sugar or world market sugar to “B” sugar or domestic sugar last May to bring down sugar prices that started to rise due to an increase in local demand.
Martin said that as of June 25, conversion of “D” to “B” sugar had already reached 55,166.64 MT or 61.30 percent of the 90,000 MT authorized by SRA for conversion.
Meanwhile, Martin reminded sugar producers and farmers that the right to convert “D” sugar to “B” must be exercised no later than July 1, 2014. All “D” sugar with Conversion Rights not converted to “B” sugar on the said deadline shall remain as “D” and will be exported to the World Market.