Wednesday December 20 2017

Prices drop as sugar floods market

Sugar. A retailer puts sugar in a polythene bag

Sugar. A retailer puts sugar in a polythene bag recently. Sugar prices have dropped in some parts of the country. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA 

By TAUSI NAKATO

JINJA. Although many traders hike prices of some commodities during the festive season, the story is now different with the price of sugar continuing to drop to as low as Shs3,800 in some places in Busoga.

Currently, a kilogramme of sugar costs Shs3,800 from Shs4,500 at retail points, while for wholesale it goes for Shs3,100. And at the factory a 50kg bag costs Shs155, 000 down from Shs175, 000 a few weeks ago.

Speaking to Daily Monitor yesterday, the chairperson of Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association (USMA), Mr Jim Kabeho, said they have reduced the prices of sugar due to duty free sugar flooding the market.

He said all factories have accumulated stocks, which has forced them to reduce on the prices to compete with the flooded sugar on the market.

“Illegal sugar has taken over the market. We have accumulated stocks and we are not selling that’s why we are reducing so that we can be able to pay our workers. Sugar is being smuggled from Kenya and has already entered into Uganda more especially in the border towns. Smuggled sugar has replaced the locally produced Uganda sugar,” he said.

Mr Kabeho called upon government to intervene by stopping the cheap smuggled sugar from entering the country.
He added. “We wonder how duty free sugar finds its way into the country. Unless government intervenes, the price is likely to continue falling."

When contacted, the Uganda Revenue Authority manager for public and corporate affairs Ian Rumanyika, dismissed the allegations as baseless and unfounded.

Mr Rumanyika said they have enforcement team at boarders, which ensures that no product enters the country without paying taxes.

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