As the festive season draws close, prices of sugar have increased, a survey conducted by this newspaper has revealed.
Consumers have to part with an extra Shs600 for a kilo of sugar which shot up from Shs2,200 to Shs2,800. Retailers have to pay Shs30,000 more for a 50 Kilogrammes bag of sugar whose price scaled up from Shs90,000 to Shs120,000.
Mr Jim Kabeho, the chairperson of Uganda Sugar Millers Association, said the price increase was a result of the high demand that is typical of the period in the run up to the end of the year
“Demand is high towards the festive season because people are stocking sugar for the holidays.
This is an opportunity for the companies that have been making losses since the beginning of the year to start making some profits,” Mr Kabeho explained.
He further stated that the neighbouring markets of Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda were experiencing a shortage of sugar which consequently had an impact on the local prices.
“Kenya has a shortage of 400,000 tonnes, Tanzania 300,000 tonnes while Rwanda has 50,000 tonnes. Despite the restrictions, particularly in Kenya, Uganda sugar is being imported to fill the gap. So the competition between local demand and that outside the country resulted into the local prices going up,” Mr Kabeho said.
He, however, said the future of the prices is unpredictable. He explains that besides the aforementioned factors, the global market is also a key determinant of the price of sugar.