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‘No to A sugar’

The United Sugar Producers Federation is urging the Sugar Regulatory Administration to scrap the A sugar, or the US sugar quota for the coming crop year, if the supply is just enough for the country’s consumption.

Unifed president Manuel Lamata said yesterday, “There is no point to allocate A sugar when we will also import the differential to satisfy the local needs.”

Lamata is taking this position in anticipation of Sugar Order No. 1 that is expected to come out by next week, and with talks rife that there are sectors pushing for a 7-8 percent allocation for the US market, a press release from Unifed said.

Unifed agreed to a seven percent allocation of A sugar last year. But the problem, Lamata said, was that the farmers were short-changed because the differential given was only P100 instead of the expected P400.

“In other words, somebody made money, but it was not the farmers,” he added.

Scrapping the A sugar had been done in the past when the country’s sugar production did not meet local demands. “It has been done, and we are asking SRA to do it again and prioritize the local market,” Lamata said.

He also lashed out at SRA for the delay in coming up with the crop estimates for this year.

“This has to be conducted immediately and we urge the SRA to check on sugar balances of the mills so we can come up with an accurate data,” he added. “Sugar mills have already opened, yet we have yet to hear from SRA as to their projection for this crop year.”*

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