Sugar planters support gov’t’s call to ensure 2-month buffer stock
BACOLOD CITY —The National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) supported the call of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to ensure a two-month buffer stock for sugar at the end of the milling season, the group president Enrique Rojas said on Monday, January 16.
“A buffer stock is needed to supply the domestic market while sugar mills have not yet achieved peak production. The lack of a buffer stock is precisely what caused domestic sugar prices to increase to unprecedented levels last July 2022 up to now,” he said.
The Sugar Regulatory Administration, he said, should provide safeguards to ensure that the volume and arrival of the buffer stock will be calibrated so it does not depress domestic millgate prices.
The buffer stock, he said, is ideal for any commodity, including sugar.
“In the sugar industry, we always target a production that will leave us with a buffer stock of at least two months at the end of milling (end of August),” he said.
Most mills stop operations about June or July, when they run out of canes to mill.
When the new crop year starts on September 1, Rojas said the sugar mills do not simultaneously start operations. Mills resume operations only when they are assured of sufficient cane supply.
Most Negros mills usually resume operations in the last week of August or in September, while other mills resume operations in October, November or even as late as December, he said.
“It takes about two or three months from September for all mills to simultaneously operate and produce sufficient sugar for domestic consumption,” he said.