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VietNamNews

Sugar smugglers sour local market

Update: December, 19/2012 - 10:43

 

Sugar is warehoused by workers of the Pho Phong Sugar Plant in the central province of Quang Ngai. Roughly 300,000-400,000 tonnes of sugar are imported illegally each year, causing losses for domestic sugar refineries. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Long
HA NOI (VNS)— The Viet Nam Sugar and Sugar Cane Association has called on the Government to take bolder measures against smuggled imports, saying that smuggling created significant difficulties for domestic sugar refineries.

Roughly 300,000-400,000 tonnes of sugar are imported illegally to the country each year, accounting for roughly 20-30 per cent of the country's total sugar consumption, according to the association.

The imports, which have been sold at prices lower than domestic products, have been dominating the southern market and part of the northern market.

The association's chairman Nguyen Thanh Long said that a kilo of Thai sugar imported illegally to the country was retailing for VND13,800, which explained why domestic products have been left unsold.

Looking at the ongoing 2012-13 crop, Long said, 10 sugar plants in the Mekong Delta region produced roughly 130,000-140,000 tonnes of sugar, but only 30 per cent was sold.

By the end of November, producers faced 110,000 tonnes of unsold inventory - 60 per cent more than last year.

The country's sugar supply next year is estimated to exceed demand by roughly 400,000 tonnes.

Long said though it was now the high sale season, sugar prices had dropped by VND4,000-5,000 against last year to VND14,000-14,500 per kilo.

As sugar input costs (material, expenses on inventories, bank loan interest rates) were high - roughly VND15,000-15,500 per kilo - domestic sugar producers lost VND600-1,000 per kilo.

By producing more sugar, refineries only increased their losses, Long said. — VNS

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