All sugar production for the crop year will be designated for the domestic market as production is seen to drop by at least 10 percent due to the El Niño phenomenon.

In its Sugar Order No. 1 S-2023-2024, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said sugar production is expected to be around 1.85 million metric tons, which shall be quedanned by mill companies as 'B' or for the domestic market.

The SRA said the estimated drop in domestic production will be at least 10 to 15 percent, depending on the severity of El Niño.

The onset of El Niño was declared in July by state weather forecasters. The phenomenon increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions that could bring adverse impacts such as dry spells and droughts throughout the country.

The crop year started on Sept. 1 and will run until Aug. 31, 2024.

The SRA said it is mandated to institute measures that will ensure the stability of the domestic sugar supply in its sugar order dated Aug. 29.

Periodic assessment on sugar production and withdrawals trend will be undertaken, after which the SRA may adjust the percentage allocation and distribution to other classes of sugar, including export and reserve allocations.

The sugar order was not signed by President Marcos, who is also the SRA Board chairman and agriculture secretary.

It was signed by Usec. Domingo Panganiban, SRA administrator Pablo Luis Azcona, as well as representatives of millers and planters who serve as SRA board members

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