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Sugar firms want US quota scrapped

Sugar firms want US quota scrapped

MANILA, Philippines — Local sugar producers are calling for the removal of sugar allocation to the US given the expected lower production this year.

The Confederation of Sugar Producers Association (Confed) is pushing for the elimination of the “A” allocation and its transfer to “B” due to the lower than expected output.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration classifies sugar into “A” for sugar for export to the US, “B” for domestic consumption, “C” for reserves, “D” for export to countries other than the US and “E” for local food processors.

Confed spokesperson Raymond Montinola said A  sugar is only beneficial if there is an expected big production.

The US has allocated for the Philippines an initial quota of 136,201 metric tons for the current crop year, which started in September 2018 and will end in August 2019.

The Philippines is one of the select countries given an annual allocation of sugar export to the US market at a premium.

SRA board member for the planters side Emilio Yulo, for his part, said the proposal to stop the A program is a highly emotional issue in the sugar industry.

“We need to seriously study the matter. We should start talking with USDA and appraise them of the situation. We just finished the first shipment, the next one is in March and yet we are nearing the end of the milling season. The problem is how to reconfigure your classification if it’s about to end,” Yulo said.

The SRA has already revised its projection for the year to 2.079 million metric tons from 2.225 million MT.

For the current  crop year, the Philippines has allocated 95 percent of sugar production for the domestic market, while the remaining five percent will go to the the US market.