MANILA - Raw sugar output in the Philippines has risen 27 percent so far in the crop year that began in September from a year ago due to early milling and favorable weather, a government official said on Friday, keeping the country on track to meet its annual production and export targets.
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said that output for the crop year ending Aug. 31 had reached nearly 873,000 tonnes as of last month, and that it still expects total production for the year to rise 5 percent to 2.356 million tonnes.
"The increase in production is attributed to early milling, a higher rate of crushing and favourable weather conditions in the last quarter of 2012," SRA Administrator Regina Bautista-Martin said in a statement.
Sugar shipments to the United States under an annual tariff rate quota programme will begin this month, while exports to other markets in the current crop year continue and have so far reached more than 20,000 tonnes, she said.
The SRA has allotted a volume equivalent to about a fifth of forecast 2012/13 production for exports.
The U.S. has initially given the Philippines a sugar import quota of 144,901 tonnes for the current marketing year that opened on Oct. 1.
World sugar supply is expected to exceed requirements this year, boosted by favourable crushing and weather conditions in major producers Brazil, India and Thailand, Bautista-Martin said.
"This will put pressure on sugar prices, but the SRA is hopeful that domestic prices will continue to be stable," she said.