Philippines sees sugar output steady
MANILA - The Philippines' raw sugar output is forecast to be little changed from the previous year at around 2.45 million tonnes for the 2013/14 crop year, with 14 percent of the total to be exported, the industry regulator said on Friday.
Sugar output in the 2012/13 crop year, which ends on Friday, hit 2.46 million tonnes, up 9.5 percent, Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said in a statement.
The SRA has allocated 2 percent of the 2013/14 crop for export to the United States under the annual tariff rate quota programme, and 12 percent to the world market.
The SRA, however, said it would encourage the use of sugar intended for the world market for bioethanol production as a global surplus has kept prices under pressure.
"(The) price situation in the world market remains volatile, and the bioethanol mandate could very well absorb the surplus sugar at viable price levels," SRA Administrator Regina Bautista-Martin said.
Benchmark New York futures plunged to a three-year low of 15.93 cents a pound in July on the prospect of a bumper crop in Brazil, and prices are now holding around 16.30 cents.
The Philippines' regular U.S. quota allocation is 138,000 tonnes. For the 2012/13 crop year, exports to the United States totalled about 53,690 tonnes, about 40 percent of the quota, Bautista-Martin said, because of oversupply already in the market, competition from Mexico, and the global price declines.
The Philippines' 2013/14 sugar consumption is forecast at around 2.1 million tonnes, the SRA said.