SRA mulls SRP, warehouse inspection amid refined sugar overprice
A retailer arranges packs of sugars in Pandacan, Manila on January 18, 2023. Ernie Penaredondo



MANILA, Philippines — The government is considering imposing a suggested retail price (SRP) and warehouse inspections as retail prices of refined sugar remained overpriced despite the downward trend in the farmgate price of raw sweeteners, Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) administrator Pablo Azcona said yesterday

In a radio interview, Azcona said the SRA is considering the imposition of an SRP as white sugar is sold as high as P110 per kilo compared to the P55 per kilo of farmgate raw sugar.

“Our last target for the farmgate price of brown sugar is at P60 (per kilo) and for our consumer, it should be P85 (per kilo) for refined sugar. At present, the farmgate price of our farmers is only at P55, so supposedly the retail price of white sugar should only be P80,” he explained.

Azcona added that based on monitoring of the Department of Agriculture in Metro Manila markets, the retail price of refined sugar ranged between P82 and P110 per kilo from the previous P85 to P110 per kilo. He said the retail price of brown sugar is stable at P70 per kilo.

“We also have a lot of imported sugar (in the market) so there should be a drop (in retail prices),” he noted.

According to Azcona, as of yesterday, the farmgate price of raw sugar decreased to P2,700 per bag equivalent to P3,400 per bag for white sugar.

He said the SRA already suspended the release of 150,000 metric tons of imported sugar amid the slump in the farmgate price of raw sugar.

‘The farmers and millers were complaining on the downward trend in the farmgate price of sugar and the reason given to them is the flooding of sugar in the market, but the retail price has yet to go down,” Azcona said.

“Traders will only add their logistics cost and their revenues from the farmers’ price of P55 per kilo,” he said.

At the same time, Azcona added that sugar farmers are also proposing to the SRA to inspect warehouses to determine the actual volume of sugar in the country.

“The farmer groups are suggesting to check on the warehouses as despite the volume of sugar on record, the retail price remains high,” he said.