Sugar gets more expensive on supply crunch
BI Report || BusinessInsider
Azad Hossain, a resident of the city’s Hatirpool area, went out to buy sugar on Saturday. He asked four retail shops to buy the sweetener, which is a common thing for urban lives. He was dumb founded that three retailers had no sugar and fourth one asked the price at Tk 94 for a kilogram.
The situation was more or less the same in other areas in the city. Retailers said they were not getting the sugar from wholesalers, who blamed the shortage of supply by millers in recent days.
Sugar price has been rising since July due to its price hike in international markets and closure of some state-owned mills. The Ministry of Commerce was forced to sit with millers several times to fix its price in a bid to control the market.
Accordingly, the Bangladesh Sugar Refiners Association reset the prices of sugar, first on September 5 and then on September 9 when they announced that from now on, the maximum retail price of per kilogram of unpacked sugar will be Tk 74 while the same amount of packed sugar will be Tk 75.
But consumers are nowhere getting sugar at this rate as retailers and wholesalers said they are facing an acute shortage of the sweetener, which has caused further price increases.
Traders at Kawran Bazar, which is one of the biggest wholesale markets, are running out of stocks as millers have stopped supplying sugar.
“The wholesale market has been under pressure for the last few days. We don’t create a crisis. If we don’t, how will we sell it,” said Md Malek Khan, owner of Panchgar Sugar House at Kawran Bazar.
Golam Mowla, general secretary of Moulvi Bazar Traders Association, said they have packed sugar, but they don’t have unpacked one, for which the supply depends fully on the millers.
“We don’t know why refining mills have stopped supplying sugar,” Mowla said.
Asked Biswajit Saha, director, corporate and regulatory affairs at City Group, he declined to comment on the issue. City and Meghna groups are the two major players with over 50 percent market share in sugar.
Meanwhile, wholesalers who still have some stocks are now cashing in on the situation by charging higher prices, another trader at Kawran Bazar said, wishing not to be named.