Sugar price to go down soon: SBT

DAR ES SALAAM: The retail price of sugar is expected to start going down starting next week when the first part of the consignment to beef supply enters the market.

According to the Sugar Board of Tanzania (SBT), to cushion the demand the government approved the importation 50,000 tonnes to increase supply after the production was affected by El Nino rains in the fourth quarter of last year.

The SBT Director of Regulatory Services, Mr Lusomyo Buzingo, told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday of behalf of his Director General Prof Kenneth Bengesi that the production of sugar was interrupted by heavy rains the country experienced last November but the manufacturers have since resumed production.

“Part of the imported consignment is expected to enter the country from mid-next-week…to calm the price to normal,” Mr Buzingo said. The importation was approved for two months only—January and February.

He said sugar producers did not raise the factory price rather are wholesalers and retailers and they are planning to take some measures.

The retail price of sugar is between 3,800/- and 4,300/- currently from 2,800/- and 3,500/- fortnight ago.

The producers halted production after failing to access their shambas for sugarcane after the torrential rains damaged infrastructures.

He said the government gave the sugar import approval to Mtibwa Sugar, Kilombero Sugar/Illovo, Bagamoyo Sugar, TPC Limited and Kagera Sugar. The manufacturers have already imported the sugar which is part of the 50,000 tonnes.

“We hope that the consignment will cushion the demand and lower price further, especially after producers resume production,” said Mr Buzingo.

All sugar factories stop production due to heavy rains though Kilombero and Kagera continued with production since were partially affected.

Ministry for Agriculture said the sugar output dropped last November by 30 per cent due to heavy rains that made it hard for the sugarcane to be harvested and promised price would go back to normal within 30-60 days.

The ministry further said that sugar production is expected to reach 550,000 tonnes this year if the temporary challenges of rain are solved.

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