Monday, March 3, 2008

Sugar prices up in Rajshahi as govt mills stop sales

Sugar prices up in Rajshahi as govt mills stop sales
Sugar prices increased by Tk 7 a kg in retail markets in one week in Rajshahi region after the government on Monday stopped selling sugar from eight mills in northern region.

Sugar was selling at Tk 36 a kg yesterday in Rajshahi, Natore and Naogaon districts against Tk 29 a week ago.

Earlier on February 17 the sugar mills under Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) stopped sales, but a day later the mills resumed selling at Tk 28,000 per metric ton against the previous price of Tk 25,000 per metric ton.

Industry people said the BSFIC took the move to increase the prices of sugar.

When contacted, managing directors of Rajshahi, Natore and North Bengal sugar mills confirmed that the mills have stopped selling sugar.

Asked about reasons behind the price hike of sugar, M Yahia Mia, managing director of Rajshahi Sugar Mills, said production cost of per ton of sugar is around Tk 41,500 but the mills sell at Tk 28,000. The mills will incur loss if they sell sugar at present rates, he added.

"Mills will face ruins if we don't make profits," said Taiyab Ali, MD of Natore Sugar Mills.

Retail traders in Rajshahi attributed the price hike to supply dearth. They said some 30 dealers in Rajshahi usually get 120 tons to 150 tons of sugar against average monthly demand for 900 tons, but this month they are yet to get the supply.

Omar Ali, a local dealer, said price of refined sugar is now at Tk 34.50 per kg at mill gate against Tk 28 last month.

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