Sugar price rises in domestic market

Sugar price in the Yangon market is observed to increase again in mid-December up to K3,870/3,900 per viss despite the domestically oper­ating sugar mills being resumed func­tioning.


Within the first-nine days of Decem­ber, the sugar price was K3,760-3,780 per viss. However, it steadily surged up to K3,820/3,830 on 11 December, up to K3,830/3,850 on 14 December; then, on 15 and 16 December, it rose to K3,870/3,900, which means, the sugar price increased to K120 per viss within half of a month.


The sugar prices in the Mandalay market range within K3,800-3,850 per viss within these days. Transporting a pack of sugar (that weighs 30 visses) from Mandalay to Yangon by train costs K1,600, a sugar seller from Bayintnaung Wholesale Market told the Global New Light of Myanmar.


The gradual upsurge of sugar prices in the domestic market resulted from a delay of new sugar entering the market, which in turn, provides opportunities to the sugar sellers who hold the leftover sugar stock in their hands to increase the price. On the other hand, the forward price of sugar that is sold in advance was agreed only with K3,550 per viss in the market.


New sugars are potentially arriving in the market around the end of this month and there will be two types of sugar in the market – old and new ones. It is also expected that the price of old sugar that is currently circulating in the market will be lower than that of the incoming ones.


Although the new sugar produced by the sugar mills in the early period of 2024, the sugar price is forecasted less possibility to decrease next year because some traders will continue pur­chasing new sugar to keep many stocks in their hands upon gaining much profit, a sugar trader Ko Min Min remarked.


Another reason is that, according to the report, domestic sugar consum­ers have to consent to the sugar price set by the traders who hold the stocks for the home market since the sugar surplus is exported.


Although price equilibrium is in­deed set by the market demands and supplies, the sugar mills only operate four months in a year, which in turn, leads the sugar traders to manipulate the supply price in the market, espe­cially in such time of closing the sugar mills.


Since the sugar price on 16 Decem­ber 2022 was K2,425/2,550 per viss, the price is K1,350 higher per viss this year for a similar period. At the moment, the price of NyaungU white jaggery is valued at K4,500 per viss; Yesagyo white jaggery is valued at K5,900 per viss; and one viss of brown-slab sugar is valued at K4,300.


However, imported power sugars are increasingly used in making foods and beverages rather than the sugar. As a matter of fact, the former is much sweeter than the latter. Notwithstand­ing, the power sugars are less healthy for consumers.


Therefore, it is important for the public to be aware of healthy and hy­gienic sweetening agents in this time of breaking records of high prices of domestic sugar and other related prod­ucts. — TWA/TMT