Sugar is selling at a higher rate than the rate set by the government
Chattogram traders do not respect the sugar price set by the government to control the market even after a month. Currently, the essential product is sold at a price of Tk 11 per kg above the price set by the government at the retail level.
On September 22, the government set the retail price for bulk sugar at Tk 84 per kg and packaged at Tk 89 per kg. However, it was sold at Tk 95 per kg and Tk 100 per kg respectively.
Traders said sugar prices had been rising for more than two months at wholesale and retail levels.
On Thursday, October 20, the price of sugar at the Khatunganj wholesale market was Tk 3,550 per maund (37.32 kg), down from Tk 3,250 two weeks ago. This means that the wholesale price of this essential product has increased by Tk 300 per maund or Tk 8 per kg during this period.
Neyaz Morshed, a wholesale sugar trader in Khatunganj, said sugar prices in the international market have been falling for more than three months, but the scenario in the domestic market is completely opposite.
“At the beginning of August, the wholesale price of sugar was 2,750 to 2,800 Tk. But now, in just two and a half months, the price has risen to Tk 3,550. It’s very unusual,” he said.
Alamgir Parvez, owner of Messrs RM Trading in Khatunganj, said sugar is sold in the wholesale market at a higher price than the retail price set by the government. “The government has set the bulk sugar price at the retail level at Tk 84 per kg. But it is sold in the wholesale market at Tk 95.12 per kg.
Traders claim that importing companies have destabilized the market due to lack of oversight by market authorities.
Pradeep Karan, Deputy Managing Director (Sales) of Citigroup, said in this regard: “It is true that the price of sugar has fallen in the international market. However, due to the rising dollar price, we have to pay extra money. pay the import price.
“In addition, our costs have also increased due to the increase in the regulatory sugar duty from 20% to 30% as before. As a result, it was not possible to reduce the price of sugar on the domestic market,” he added.
However, traders said that in the last financial year, there was a crisis in sugar imports which was 4 lakh tonnes less than the previous year. Although the import of sugar is normal in the current financial year, importers and factory owners have taken advantage of the crisis of the previous year to destabilize the market during the last three months.
According to Chattogram Customs, only 17 lakh tonnes of sugar were imported through Chattogram Port in the financial year 2021-22. Earlier, in the financial year 2020-21, the amount was 21 lakh tons.
Mohammad Faiz Ullah, deputy director of the National Consumer Rights Protection Branch, Chattogram, told The Business Standard: “We are carrying out regular operations to control the market. The question of the sale of oil and sugar at a price set by the government has been a priority. “
“If the wholesale price increases, the government will consider adjusting the retail price. But no trader will be allowed to sell products at a price higher than the price set by the government. We will monitor this issue more seriously,” a- he added.
At present, the annual demand for sugar in the country is around 18 to 20 lakh tons.
In the past, state-owned mills produced between 1.5 lakh and 2 lakh tonnes of sugar. However, in the past two years, production at six of the government’s 15 sugar mills has come to a halt and production has fallen to 48,000 tons and 25,000 tons respectively. As a result, the country’s domestic sugar production is entirely dependent on private sugar mills.