San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc. (SCBI), the ethanol plant subsidiary of First Pacific-controlled Roxas Holdings, Inc. (RHI), said that it has been registering marked improvement in its production in the last two quarters, or from September 2020 to March 2021.
RHI said that this was due to SCBI’s strategic shift in the sourcing of its primary raw material, with the increase in milling from sugarcane syrup, while maintaining flexibility in the use of molasses, as prices soften.
The development, however, comes as RHI reported a net loss of PhP574 million for the first half of its fiscal year, 1.95% higher than its Php563 million loss year-on-year. RHI’s fiscal year runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following calendar year.
RHI Chairman Pedro Roxas noted that there had been a substantial drop in sugarcane yields despite an increase in tons cane milled, particularly in Batangas, which negated gains and improvements in the group’s operations during the said period.
“The adverse effects of a prolonged La Niña were felt on the level of farm productivity which slowed the growth of sugar canes. The overall decline in cane quality (sugar content of canes) is a concern for the entire sugar industry, so much so, that the Sugar Regulatory Administration has intervened and suspended the US Quota for exports in early April,” Roxas said in a statement.
RHI President and CEO Celso Dimarucut added that the unpredictable weather conditions seriously affected business operations in the past two quarters.
“The onslaught of heavy rains caused a delay in the harvesting of canes, and extended the milling cycle. [Nonetheless], we are now fully focused on implementing solutions to address the factors causing volatility and higher costs in our industry and our group. Efforts are currently underway to regain our position in the market,” Dimarucut said.
Photo from Roxas Holdings website.