Bitter truths about Lanka’s “sugar situation” – a price hike on the way?

Bitter truths about Lanka’s “sugar situation” – a price hike on the way?

Bitter truths about Lanka’s “sugar situation” – a price hike on the way?

Written by Staff Writer

12 Dec, 2016 | 9:28 pm

The Sugar Importer’s Association says the trade is facing a severe crisis situation in Sri Lanka, warning that the price of sugar may have to be increased.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says that due to the smuggling of cocaine with stocks of sugar imported from Brazil, all imports of sugar from that country have been halted in favour of importing sugar from India and Thailand.

The national demand in Sri Lanka for sugar is about 480,000 metric tonnes.

A collapse in the local production of sugar has meant that about 90 percent of this requirement is met by imported sugar.

The country consumes about 1300 metric tonnes of sugar per day or about 40,000 tonnes a month.

During the festive season, the demand for sugar increases to about 600,000 tonnes.

However, the sugar manufacturing plants in Hingurana, Pelwatte, Sevanagala and Kantale, are inactive.The Sugar Importers Association says that due to the increased costs they are bearing, the price of sugar may increase in the near future.

Convener of the Sugar Importers Association Hemaka Fernando says that in the latter half of June, the customs duty was reduced to 25 cents and due to this benefit, they were able to sell sugar to the public at about 90 or 91 rupees per kilo.

He adds that the low priced sugar stocks are depleting during the festive season and the government does not have sugar reserves. He says, thereby in the future they will not be able to sell the sugar that was purchased at 103 rupees per kilo for 93 rupees per kilo.

Meanwhile, drawing attention to the problems in importing sugar, the All Ceylon Peasants Federation says that in order to prevent the public from being burdened with further taxes, steps must be taken to strengthen local sugar manufacturing.

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