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Sugar repricing awaiting outcome of talks; DA may consider SRP range of P85-90/kg

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE new suggested retail price (SRP) for sugar has not yet been set pending the completion of consultations, though the Department of Agriculture (DA) cited a possible range of P85-90 per kilogram.

“Pagdating sa presyo, hindi pa po tayo naglalabas ng SRP sa refined sugar. Meron pong stakeholders meeting na nagaganap ang Sugar Regulatory Association (SRA) ay nakikipag-ugnayan sa kanilang traders, planters, and millers. (In terms of pricing, we are not yet releasing an SRP for refined sugar. The SRA is still consulting traders, planters and millers) Once we come up with a price (of around) P85 to P90 per kilogram (/kg), iyan ang presyong tinitignan ngayon (that is the price range being looked at now), then we can suggest an SRP,” Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Y. Evangelista said in a Laging Handa briefing on Thursday.

“We’ve monitored na merong effect iyong nakaraang bagyo sa ating sugar millers and planters. (We have monitored the impact of the latest storm on millers and planters) We are closely coordinating with SRA kung ano ang epekto nito (how this has affected) the volume of production,” she added.

Recently, the United Sugar Producers Federation asked President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to intervene in order to increase the retail price of sugar charged by major supermarkets to P85 to P90/kg from the current price of P70/kg.

In August, major supermarkets reached an agreement with Mr. Marcos to sell sugar at P70/kg.

Separately, Trade Assistant Secretary Ann Claire C. Cabochan said prices charged by retailers for basic necessities and prime commodities in areas affected by Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) have been stable, following monitoring conducted by the regional offices of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Ms. Cabochan added that the price of some ingredients needed for the traditional holiday meal, known as Noche Buena, will increase. She did not specify the products.

“The manufacturers told us that they will implement price increases in certain Noche Buena products, but not all. If there are increases, they will be tempered,” Ms. Cabochan said.

The DA estimated late Thursday afternoon that agricultural damage caused by Paeng amounted to P2.86 billion. Lost production was estimated at 116,291 MT across 86,574 hectares of farmland. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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