Sugar price to go up by Tk 5 a kg from Feb 1
Refiners are set to raise the price of sugar from February 1, their second hike in three months, as the higher price of unrefined sugar in the global market and depreciation of taka continue to push up their production costs.
This time, they are set to raise the price by Tk 5 per kilogram following a discussion with the commerce ministry and Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission, according to a statement issued by Bangladesh Sugar Refiners Association yesterday.
From February 1, the retail price of loose sugar will be Tk 5 more at Tk 107 per kilogram. The price of packaged sugar will be Tk 4 more at Tk 112 a kg.
Refiners last raised the prices of sugar on November 3 last year -- to Tk 102 a kg for unpackaged sugar and Tk 108 for packaged sugar -- citing the same reasons.
Retailers in Dhaka have been selling sugar at Tk 120 per kg.
Globally, sugar prices edged up in the last two months of last year, according to World Bank Commodities Price Data released early this month.
The price hike is set to pile on the expenses for ordinary people during Ramadan, which is set to begin in March.
Talking to The Daily Star, Ghulam Rahman, president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, said, "The market for the sweetener has become unstable before the fasting month. It should be controlled. Otherwise, people will suffer during Ramadan."
Rahman demanded that the government make sugar available and bring down the prices to Tk 80-90 a kg during the fasting month.
Market insiders said a section of traders is taking advantage of the supply shortage in the market.
In the first six months of the fiscal year, raw sugar imports fell 22 percent year-on-year to 7.33 lakh tonnes, shows data from the commerce ministry.
The opening of letters of credit for the import of raw sugar also slumped 28 percent year-on-year to 3.75 lakh tonnes in the October-December period of 2022.
Bangladesh requires 20 lakh tonnes of sugar annually, 98 percent of which is met through imports.