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Sugar industry seen positive in 2011

First Posted 09:47:00 12/31/2010

Bacolod City ? Sugar Regulatory Administration head Gina Martin projected a positive outlook for the country?s sugar industry in 2011.

Barring any natural calamities, Martin said she was optimistic about the prospects of the sugar industry, with an improved sugar production and good sugar prices next year.

The good sugar prices this year have allowed sugar producers, including the small planters, to invest in the improvement of their fields for better production, she said on Wednesday.

However, Martin said this outlook would be dependent on the weather. ?If La NiŮa will prevail, then we cannot expect a better crop next year. Let's pray for better weather to support our efforts,? she said.

Martin noted that the world market prices of sugar remained high ?because it is also factoring in a price premium for extreme weather changes which is a major factor for agriculture.?

To prepare for the implementation of the reduced tariff on imported sugar under the Asean Free Trade Agreement, the SRA would work with the small farmers to help improve efficiency so the country's sugar industry would become more competitive in the world market, she said.

?We are going to gear up for 2015 and beyond to prepare for the AFTA five percent tariff for imported sugar come 2015,? Martin said. /INQUIRER

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