Sugar mills are going to run the operations in December. The prices of sugar are still on the upward trend one month before new sugar enters the market. However, jaggery price is declining, Ko Zaw Ko, a trader who sends the goods to regions outside Yangon, told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).
The famous brand sugar is priced at K2,540 per viss on 16 November. The jaggery price stood over K3,500 per viss in the wholesale markets and dipped to K3,075-3,300 respectively depending on the producing areas (NyaungU, Mahlaing and Pakokku areas). The jaggery from the Yesagyo area was valued at K3,600-3,750 per viss. New molasses sticks entered the Yangon market at K2,900 per viss, while peanut molasses sticks fetched K2,750 per viss.
On 21 October, jaggery prices ranged between K3,100 and 3,850 per viss. There are 440,000 acres of sugarcane in Myanmar. The sugarcane plantations are commonly found in the upper Sagaing Region and southern and northern Shan State, followed by Bago Region, Yangon and Mandalay Region.
There are around 20 sugar mills in Myanmar, with an annual production capacity of 500,000 tonnes of sugar. The local consumption is estimated at 450,000 tonnes. Myanmar shipped 40,000 tonnes of sugar to external markets in 2020.
In 2015, the sugarcane fetched only K40,000 per tonne. Some local companies offered the sugarcane price at K90,000 per tonne for the upcoming 2022-2023 sugarcane season. Sugar produced by Bago Region was the highest in the market by 2010.
Sugar imported by foreign countries is allowed for re-export to China through cross-border posts in 2016. The price of sugar climbed then. The permit was suspended in 2017 and resumed for three months before mid-2018. The re-export of sugar has come to a halt so far. The sugar bags were stockpiled and stuck in the Muse border in 2019 and the sugar price plunged to K1,000 per viss that time.
From 2020, sugar produced by the sugar mill in northern Shan State fetched the highest price in Yangon’s sugar market.
There is a plan to construct new sugar mills with a production capacity of 12,000 tonnes and 5,000 tonnes this year. The sugar output will increase for sure and sugar export is likely to increase.
The top wheat and sugar-producing country India suspended exports and the news of 5 million tonnes of sugar exported this month for the first time after the suspension is circulating in the market. The most populous India with over 1 billion population will produce 36 million tonnes of sugar annually, while local consumption needs 27 million.
The sugar price increased to K1,750 in Yangon’s wholesale market in October 2010. Thereafter, the price fluctuated around K1,000 per viss as of 2020. The price started to rise in mid-2021 at K1,500 per viss and reached K2,000 per viss at the end of the year. The price continued to go up to K2,200 in mid-2022 and edged up to K2,580 per viss in early November. The sugar produced by Bago’s factories was priced at K2,450 per viss.
Old sugar stocks flooded the market before the entry of new sugar. Normally, the sugar price decreased at that time. Nonetheless, sugar prices were still strong at the end of 2021 and 2022, said Ko Tun, a buyer.
When the sugar price is rocketing, the price of jaggery from the NyaungU area is down by K400 per viss these days. – TWA/GNLM