• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Airing suspicions that somebody is pushing a scenario, the Sugar Regulatory Administration is investigating sugar mills, traders, and importers to determine if there is an “abnormality” in their dealings.
This comes after SRA chief Pablo Azcona noticed that the trading price of sugar went below their forecasted P3,000 per 50 kilo bag.
While two sugar mills had prices a little beyond P3,000, Azcona said some went as low as between P2,700 and P2,550, which he described as a bit surprising.
SRA is now looking into what could have caused the price depression last week, he said, adding they maintained prices at a comfortable level of P3,000, which is equivalent to P60 per kilogram at farm gate raw price and P85 kilo in Metro Manila.
“We have been pushing for the P3,000 price, as I feel it is the fair market price, and this has been echoed by the administration, as well as an incentive for farmers to plant more and be more sustainable,” the SRA chief said.
Someone is definitely making a scenario, and we will not take this sitting down, Azcona added.
Millgate sugar prices at Hawaiian Philippine Company and First Farmers Holding Corporation are slightly above P3,000, while Victorias Milling Company, Universal Robina Corporation, and Sagay Central is sold between P2,550 to P2,700, he further said.
On the other hand, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is hoping that prices of sugar will be maintained at P3,000 per 50 kilogram bag, stressing that SRA officials, who are mostly from Negros, should be aware of what sugar planters are expecting.
Regarding the different prices of sugar among mills, Lacson said planters will always send their canes where they think they will make more money.
It is an advantage to a sugar mill that gives more income, in return, planters will always be observing that, the governor further said.*