The Philippines will export an additional 11,706 metric tonnes of sugar to the US under the tariff rate quota, while its domestic output is likely to fall short of an earlier forecast, an industry official said Friday.
“The US has allocated an additional quota to us, as some of the other usual suppliers failed to meet their commitment,” said Jose Rojo Alisla, chief regulation officer of the Sugar Regulatory Administration.
The quota is above the country’s 142,160 tonnes of exports to the US for the 2010 fiscal year under the original quota allocation arrangement.
The US Trade Representative said in March it will distribute the unused quota of some of its supplies between 25 countries, including Brazil, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines.
Alisla added the country’s production forecast for the current season has been cut further to 2.1 million tonnes from 2.13 million tonnes estimated in early March as erratic weather conditions earlier hit the crop’s growth.
“Most plants should be finishing crushing by the end of this month. Some will continue into May,” he said.
The Philippines produced 2.09 million tonnes of sugar in the 2008-09 crop year ending September 30, down 15 percent from the previous season, when its sugar production hit a 25-year high.
“We will continue awarding import rights to cover domestic demand,” Alisla said.
The Philippines held its second import rights auction Tuesday, which will bring total imports to 37,300 tonnes out of a plan to import 60,000 tonnes to help beef up local supplies.
The country has suspended setting aside local sugar production for strategic reserves in order to ensure sufficient supply.