The country's market demand for sugar is 1.8 million tons per year. The sugar currently supplied by the Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation is only 4.5% of the market demand
With the global market witnessing an upward trend, the price of sugar in the local retail market is also going up.
According to Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC), the local mills have produced only 82,000 tons of sugar in the last 2019-20 season.
The country's market demand for sugar is 1.8 million tons per year. The sugar currently supplied by the corporation is only 4.5% of the market demand.
As the government sugar mills are closed, more than 90% of the country's sugar demand is met by imported sugar.
Bangladesh Sugar Dealer Business Association member Mostafijur Hossain said: “Sugar price increased as most of the sugar is imported as raw sugar. Later refiners refine and sell it. Many of our sugar mills are currently un-operational due to policy support.”
“On the other hand, the sugar market of the country is dependent on the global market. That’s why, when the price goes up in the international market, the same happens to the local market,” he added.
Globally, the price of raw sugar has currently risen to above $430 per ton against $340 per ton in February.
The steady spike in prices was aided by a 7% fall in sugar output in south-central Brazil between April and July. This is expected to pull down the global surplus in the ongoing sugar season 2021-22 underpinned the price rally in the past few days.
Meanwhile, local consumers have been witnessing this price hike for the last couple of days.
Looking at New Market, Karwan Bazar, Hatirpool Kacha Bazar and Jatrabari, it was found that consumers buy per kg of sugar at Tk70-85.
Joynul Abedin, a grocer at Kawran Bazar said: “Sugar price is increasing from the last couple of days. Earlier, per kg sugar was being sold at Tk68-72, now it is being sold at Tk75-85.”
Echoing similar sentiments, another vendor from the market, Tutul Hossain said: “Price of sugar increased. Imported white sugar is being sold at Tk72 in the retail market, while domestic red sugar is being sold at Tk82.”
He also said that at the retail level, the price went up by Tk10-12 per kg.
Talking about packaged sugar, Mohammad Shahid said: “Both the price of packaged powdered milk and sugar rose by Tk10-12 per kg.”
Noting package sugar, he said that the price of 1kg Teer Sugar is Tk84, Fresh Refined Sugar Tk80, ACI Pure Sugar Tk80.
“If the trend goes on like this, the price may increase further,” he added.
A consumer, Polash Ahmed Nirjhor at Hatirpool Bazar said: “In our country, when price increases, we don’t consider prices to come down anytime soon. The price of packaged sugar increased. Before Eid, I bought it at Tk70. But this has crossed Tk80. Some sellers are asking for Tk82-84 per kg.”
Another consumer, Raihanul Islam was angry about grocery prices. He said that prices are unregulated.
“Syndicates are ruling over the market. Amid the pandemic, the price of oil, sugar, and powdered milk increased. No one’s here to regulate this,” he added.
“I bought raw sugar at Tk82 per kg today. If people start panic buying again, it may witness a further increase, Raihanul said.