PH says 2014/15 raw sugar output to dip below forecast

Reuters

Posted at Mar 17 2015 02:52 PM | Updated as of Mar 17 2015 10:52 PM

MANILA - Sugar output in the Philippines, a key supplier to the United States, is unlikely to meet the government's targeted 2.5 million tonnes for the current crop year that ends in August, the industry regulator said, citing bad weather.

As a result, the Philippines' Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has decided to allocate more sugar for domestic use, while scrapping the allocation for exports to the world market on top of an annual quota shipment to the U.S.

The Southeast Asian country has so far shipped 142,160 tonnes of raw cane sugar to the U.S., SRA data showed, complying with the country-specific allocations set by the U.S. Trade Representative for fiscal 2015.

Though a minor player in the international sugar market due to its high production costs, the Philippines is the world's 8th largest sugarcane producer and the third largest U.S. sugar tariff rate quota recipient.

"Due to unfavorable weather conditions, the total raw sugar production for crop year 2014-2015 is now estimated to be less than the initial projection" of 2.5 million tonnes, SRA Administrator Regina Bautista-Martin said in an announcement posted on the agency's website.

Raw sugar output in the current crop year had reached 1.5 million tonnes as of Feb. 15, or 60 percent of the initial forecast, SRA data showed. No year-ago figure was immediately available.

The data showed the Philippines has so far sold only 3,006 tonnes to the world market on top the U.S. quota shipment.