NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. foresees a "good price" of sugar for both producers and consumers this coming crop year, which is traditionally set to open on September 1.

Marañon said he based his forecast on the prevailing sugar supply and demand situation.

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Based on reports, raw sugar prices might average at no less than P2,000 per 50 kilos during the opening of the milling season.

Last June, records from the Sugar Regulatory Administration showed that raw sugar was already sold at an average of P1,930 per bag at the mills, while the wholesale prices of raw sugar during that time already exceeded P2,000 per bag.

The governor said the start of the milling season would be delayed this crop coming crop year due to the stunted growth of the canes that were severely affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

However, Marañon said several mills have already announced that they will start milling by October. Among these are the traditional early starters, such as the Victorias Milling Company in Victorias City and Lopez Sugar Corporation in Sagay City.

These mills might want to cater to producers who, despite the stunted growth of their canes, will harvest and mill early to avail of the expected favorable price, he said. (TED)