|Farmers harvest sugarcane in Phụng Hiệp District in the Mekong Delta province of Hậu Giang. — Photo sggp.org.vn
HCM CITY — The Việt Nam Sugar and Sugarcane Association forecasts that the 2021-22 crop year will be a prosperous year for the domestic sugar industry thanks to efforts to control smuggling and anti-smugglimg and anti-subsidy duties imposed on sugar imported from Thailand.
In recent days, the domestic sugar price has increased in Phụng Hiệp District in the Mekong Delta province of Hậu Giang, which has the largest sugarcane growing area in the region.
The domestic wholesale price of sugar is currently more than VNĐ20,000 (US$0.9) per kg, the highest price in the past five years.
Trần Công Thuận, a sugar trader in the Mekong Delta, said the retail price of granulated sugar ranges from VNĐ21,000-22,000 per kg, and in supermarkets from VNĐ23,000-25,000 per kg.
Prices have risen for various reasons. The global sugar price level rose sharply to $560 per tonne, nearly $100 higher than last year. In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade decided to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on refined and raw sugar imported from Thailand after a surge in imports in 2020 hurt the local sugar industry.
Still, domestic sugar prices will be affected by smuggled sugar, especially as anti-dumping duties will create a significant gap in prices between imported sugar and smuggled sugar.
The number of smuggling incidents in the early months of 2021 reduced considerably as strong measures were taken to control border areas in an effort to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
The purchase price of raw sugarcane increased sharply in recent years, from 900,000 to VNĐ1.1 million per tonne, and is expected to increase to VNĐ1.2 million per tonne in the 2021-2022 crop, experts said.
However, Hậu Giang Province has also seen unstable prices and the cultivation area under sugarcane shrink over the years.
It only has one sugar factory which does not process sugarcane by-products, so the crop has low added value.
Nguyễn Quốc Toản, director of the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development, said businesses and farmers needed to link up, and research institutes should work with businesses to improve sugarcane quality and decrease production costs.
Businesses should invest more in processing technology and innovation, he said.
Nguyễn Văn Lộc, general secretary of the Việt Nam Sugar and Sugarcane Association, said it was important to have a stable sugar market with prices that allow sugarcane farmers to earn similar incomes as from other crops.
Provinces also need to improve their ability to adapt to climate change, he said. — VNS