Supermarkets may stop selling sugar if gov’t sets P70/kg price

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

A PLAN announced by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to set the price of white sugar at P70 per kilogram (/kg) might lead to the withdrawal of some varieties of the commodity from supermarket shelves, an industry association said on Tuesday.  

Steven T. Cua, Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association president, said during an interview on BusinessWorld Live caried by One News Channel that association members might stop selling washed and brown sugar because white refined sugar sold according to the government’s pricing.

“They probably won’t be selling washed and brown sugar since white sugar will be at P70/kg, which will be cheaper than brown or washed sugar…. This is what you call intervention within the economy,” Mr. Cua said.

The DA announced on Monday that it will sell sugar to consumers at P70/kg at SRA offices in Quezon City and Bacolod City.

It added that Kadiwa rolling stores will also retail sugar to consumers at P70/kg.

Mr. Cua said retailer price of white refined sugar at over P100/kg.  

“There will still be stock floating around at a P100+/kg, and then there will be items sold by different brands at P70/kg,” Mr. Cua said.

  “Even if a supermarket buys from suppliers (at a price that allows them) to sell at P70/kg, they will still have stock which (need to sell for) P100+/kg… It will be confusing for a bit,” he added.

The DA has said that it is considering a suggested retail price (SRP) for sugar that is “acceptable” to consumers and the industry.  

“P70/kg looks realistic (as an SRP), but again, is it sustainable? The government should be able to sustain it so that it doesn’t go up and down just like fuel prices,” Mr. Cua said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave