MANILA, Philippines — The domestic sugar industry is now willing and capable of selling their stocks to food processors that export their products.

This was made clear by Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) chief Ma. Regina Bautista-Martin in response to a letter request by Export Development Council (EDC) executive director Senen Perlada who asked the SRA to make available quality local sugar to exporting food processors at world prices.

Martin told Perlada that the SRA board has approved the reclassification of reserve sugar to export sugar to be sold directly to exporters and processors that are registered with the SRA. Certain fees will be assessed by the SRA for those purchases in addition to their actual costs.

The development was a breakthrough in the relationship between the sugar barons and the country's food processors.

Sugar is a highly regulated product in the country, and the only commodity that still enjoys high tariff protection. In previous years, the SRA board was not keen in granting export-quality sugar to local food processors and beverage manufacturers at competitive prices.

The SRA said that a bumper harvest for the 2010 to 2011 cropping season that ended last month was seen with local production expected to be close to have grown by close to 20 percent. The bountiful harvests may prompted the SRA to grant the request for the allocation of export sugar to those who imported their supplies in recent years.


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