Fresh jaggery prices surpass sugar prices

The price of new jaggery (palm sugar) in Yan­gon’s Bayintnaung Market has recently soared to K5,800 per viss for wholesale, as reported by jaggery wholesale traders.


On 24 February, NyaungU white jaggery was priced at K5,000 per viss, but by 26 February, it had increased to K5,800. Subsequently, on 27 and 28 February, new NyaungU white jaggery remained at K5,800 per viss, while Mahlaing new jaggery ranged from K5,000 to K5,200, Pakokku old jaggery was priced at K5,400-K5,500, and Yesakyo white old jaggery was between K5,700 and K5,800.


On the same days, the price of sugar rose to K4,100 per viss. However, jaggery remained K1,700 per viss more expensive than sugar. Pre­viously, both sugar and NyaungU white jaggery were priced at K3,700 per viss. In the Bayint­naung jaggery wholesale market, retail prices were reported at K2,500 for 25 ticals and K10,000 per viss, according to consumers.


As the sugar production season nears its end at sugar factories, domestic sugar prices have surpassed K4,000 per viss and are pre­dicted to reach K5,000 when traders sell it in the market, according to sugar purchaser Ko Kyaw, as reported by The Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).


On 27 February, sugar prices in the Manda­lay market were K3,980 per viss, while molas­ses was priced at K2,200 per viss, according to market information. In contrast, on 23 February 2023, sugar prices in the Yangon market were K3,050-K3,080 per viss, NyaungU white jaggery was K2,700-K2,850 per viss, Mahlaing jaggery was K2,600-K2,650, Pakokku raw jaggery was K3,000, and Yesakyo white jaggery was K3,650 respectively. Therefore, sugar prices in the Yan­gon market at the end of February this year were only K100 higher per viss than last year.


When sugar prices are at K900 per viss, one tonne of sugarcane arriving at the factory is priced at K38,000. In 2023, one tonne of sug­arcane was K150,000, while sugar prices ranged from K3,600 to K3,700 per viss. During sugar production at the factory, sugar prices rose to K4,100 per viss. Therefore, more earnings are expected during the sugarcane harvesting season in 2024. Along with the increasing price of sugar, the cultivation of sugarcane is also expanding, and more sugar factories are being constructed. Sugarcane productivity per acre in Myanmar is only 30 tonnes, whereas in India, it is 150 tonnes.


However, jaggery production is less likely to expand. Thus, jaggery prices in the domestic beverage market remain higher than sugar, making ordinary sugar palm jaggeries popular within the market, according to a jaggery seller interviewed by the GNLM. — TWA/ TMT