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Sugar supply seen beginning to stabilize

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE supply of sugar is stabilizing following stronger-than-expected refinery output, a Negros Occidental-based sugar industry association said.

“We are fortunate that good weather was on our side, thus production is high in terms of purity which has led to better sugar output as well,” Gerard Joseph Sarrosa, a spokesman for industry group Tatak Kalamay, said in a statement on Monday.

Tatak Kalamay cited data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration indicating a refined sugar inventory of 228,000 metric tons for the September to November period, which is up 91% from a year earlier.

Mr. Sarrosa added: “We are thankful that industry stakeholders are working together to ensure that we can respond to the needs of our consumers.”

Tatak Kalamay consists of sugar federations, groups of agrarian reform beneficiaries, labor groups, and cane millers.

Separately, Rex C. Estoperez, deputy spokesman of the Department of Agriculture, said that the Philippines has imported 150,000 metric tons of sugar. The department is currently looking into why sugar prices are high and will come to a decision soon on whether to import more. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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