RAW SUGAR production could decline by 10-15% depending on the severity of the ongoing El Niño, though the official production estimate of 1.85 million metric tons (MT) remains above year-earlier levels.
The estimates were contained in the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s (SRA) Sugar Order No. 1, covering the 2023-2024 crop year.
The SRA said the El Niño has been determined by the government weather service to be active throughout most of the crop year, which runs between Sept. 1, 2023 and to Aug. 31, 2024.
Official weather projections put the peak of the El Niño at late 2023 and early 2024.
SRA Administrator Pablo Luis S. Azcona told reporters last week that sugar production could benefit from an estimated 3,000-hectare increase in land planted to sugar cane.
Sugar production dropped to about 1.8 million MT, in the recently concluded crop year, from 2.1 million MT a year earlier.
The sugar regulator said that 100% of domestic market sugar production will be allocated to millers.
“SRA may from time to time adjust the percentage allocation/distribution to other classes of sugar in accordance to its power and function and to establish domestic, export and reserve allocations,” it said.
It added that total domestic withdrawals from inventory for the crop year are estimated at 2.2 million MT. — Adrian H. Halili