THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said on Thursday that it is pushing for a suggested retail price (SRP) for refined sugar at P85 per kilogram.
Administrator Pablo Luis S. Azcona told reporters that the SRA and the Department of Agriculture (DA) are currently studying an SRP scheme following the failure of prices to drop despite increased supply.
“We have been pushing for an P85 SRP. The only (snag) there is how it will be enforced,” Mr. Azcona added.
He said government agencies need to be able to enforce the SRP for refined sugar at retail.
The SRA has said that retail prices for refined sugar have remained stable since February last year at P80 per kilo to P110 per kilo in supermarkets.
“They said before that price (of sugar) went up because the supply was not enough; the supply is here, and we are also milling. But the retail price has not yet decreased,” he added.
According to the regulator’s Sugar Order No. 1, raw sugar production was estimated at 1.85 million metric tons during the 2023 to 2024 crop year.
Mr. Azcona said that the farmgate price of raw sugar had declined by about P10 per kilo to an average of P2,620 per 50-kilo bag.
“One thing that is being talked about is getting the other agencies involved; they are the ones who have control on the retail side. The DA and SRA charter say that we cannot participate in the market price of sugar,” he added.
He said that sugar prices are not reflecting the decline in the farmgate price of the commodity.
The SRA had projected earlier that the farmgate price of raw sugar will hit P3,000 per 50-kilo bag.
“We will see how we can fix it, but that’s an immediate concern because prices are sliding and farmers are being affected,” Mr. Azcona added. — Adrian H. Halili