As much as 4,160 tonnes of sugar is lying stockpiled at the storehouses in Shyampur Sugar Mills Ltd in Badarganj upazila under the district as the dealers concerned are not drawing the item due to its higher than market price.
The mill rate of the sugar is Tk 50 per kg, while different brands of sugar are selling for Tk 45 to 46 per kg, said sources of the mill and local traders.
As the huge amount of sugar worth Tk 20 crore and 80 lakh remained unsold, the mill authorities are facing problem to pay the dues to the farmers, who supplied sugarcane to the mill during the last season.
“I came here with hope to get my dues as I need the money for cultivating jute but the mill officials could not give any assurance in this regard,” said Jinnat Ali, a sugarcane farmer of Nisbetganj area in Rangpur city.
This season Shyampur Sugar Mills produced 3,688 tonnes of sugar and there was 800 tonnes of unsold sugar from the previous season, mill sources said.
The mill authority started selling the sugar in the last week of January but only 308 tonnes were sold till Sunday last, leaving the mill storehouses loaded with 4,160 tonnes of sugar.
Several dealers of the sugar mill said imported sugar now dominates the market as its quality is much better and prices lower.
"Different brands of sugar like 'Teer' of City Sugar Industries Ltd and 'Fresh' of United Sugar Industries are selling for Tk 45 to 46 per kg in the local markets but the price of sugar produced by Shyampur Sugar Mills Ltd is Tk 50 per kg. Besides, the latter is reddish and not liked by owners of sweet factories, the main customers of sugar,” said Saiful Islam, a trader of Rangpur City Market.
Pulok Kundu, a sweet shop owner in Badarganj upazila, said they are not interested to buy the sugar of Shyampur Sugar Mills as its price is higher than that of other brands and they cannot produce quality sweets with it.
Abdul Aziz, managing director of the sugar mill, said, “After reducing the price of our sugar from earlier Tk 60 per kg, we are now selling it at Tk 50 at the mill gate. But it has hardly brought any result as the local market price is still lower. If the huge sugar remains unsold for long, it will liquefy, causing us huge losses."
He urged the authorities concerned to take immediate initiative to address the problem.