Lawmaker seeks probe into sugar price drop

BACOLOD City – Rep. Alfredo Benitez (3rd district, Negros Occ.) filed on Dec 6, 2017 a resolution seeking an investigation into the continuous drop in mill gate sugar prices in the country.

Benitez’s resolution cited latest data for the crop year 2017-2018 showing that “mill gate prices continued to decline starting September 2017, dropping by 26 percent to P1,190 per 50-kilogram bag as of November 5 from P1,618 per 50-kg bag in the same period last year.”

“The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has also noted that the wholesale prices of sugar also declined by 21 percent to P1,500 per 50-kg for raw sugar; 18 percent to P1,700 for washed sugar and 15 percent to P2,000 for refined sugar,” the resolution said.

The resolution pointed out that “the Negros Farmworkers and Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Producers Federation (NEFARB) have protested that small farmers and agrarian beneficiaries (ARBs) will never survive the current price level of P1,190 per 50-kg.”

Benitez said stakeholders “are calling for an investigation to identify the reasons why the mill gate prices continue to drop while the retail price of sugar remains the same.”

“The industry alleges that the price manipulation by a possible cartel, smuggling and unceasing importation of high fructose corn syrup potential are the causing the drastic decrease in sugar prices,” he added.

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