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Philippine President rejects proposal to import 300,000 mt sugar

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. rejected the Sugar Regulatory Administration's proposal to import 300,000 mt sugar into the country, a statement by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said late Aug. 10.

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The SRA had previously implemented an import program for 200,000 mt sugar inflows in May 2022 under Sugar Order No. 3.

Sugar Order No. 4, the country's second import program for crop year 2021-2022 (September-August), for 300,000 mt imports was published on SRA's website Aug. 10 morning, but it has since been removed.

The SRA deemed the additional import program necessary as the country's raw and refined sugar stocks are projected to turn negative by Aug. 31 at 35,231 mt and 20,748.65 mt, respectively. Tight supply has also caused domestic retail prices to surge, with refined sugar selling for as much as Peso 120/kg ($2.15/kg), almost double the retail price of Peso 52/kg (93 cents/kg), a year ago, according to Department of Agriculture data.

Market sources are surprised by the sudden development, though they said that an additional import program is inevitable. "Philippines definitely needs sugar," a Singapore-based trader said.

The Philippine government and the SRA were not immediately available for comment.