2 years ago

Volatility in sugar market

Sugar supply to improve within days

BB, DNCRP assure traders

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As sugar has become both scarce and expensive in local market in recent days, the central bank and the consumer rights protection agency on Sunday assured the citizens of adequate availability of the item within a short time.

The essential commodity manufacturing and refining units would get adequate gas supply. That is how the short supply of sugar and other essential commodities in the market would be resolved, said DNCRP Director General (DG) A H M Shafiquzzaman.

The Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) chief said traders would get as much sugar as they need within a few days, as refiners would be able to refine the item at their targeted quantity.

He was speaking in a discussion on sugar market situation with the leaders of Karwan Bazar retail and wholesale traders in the capital on Sunday, organised jointly by the DNCRP and the associations concerned.

Another meeting was organised by the Moulvibazar Wholesaler Merchants Association at its office in the city, where the DNCRP head also spoke.

In both the meetings, the traders blamed the private sector sugar mill owners for the latest sugar crisis.

Mr Shafiquzzaman said the demand for sugar is about 1.8 million tonnes in the country, and almost the entire demand is met through import.

Sufficient raw materials have been imported. If the refiners can maintain normal production, there would be no crisis.

He also said the DNCRP talked to the authorities concerned to supply sufficient gas to the factories processing daily commodities, and they agreed to do it.

General Secretary of Karwan Bazar Traders Islamia Association Lokman Hossain said the sugar crisis in the market is due to its insufficient supply from the refineries. Distributors are not getting sugar - ordered in September.

"We are not getting sugar from the companies. We will be able to provide the item to retailers and consumers, if you arrange its supply from the companies," he told the DNCRP DG.

Many traders could not show receipt paper, as they had to buy the product at much higher rates than the government-fixed ones, he added.

As the retailers could not show papers, they were being targeted by the DNCRP officials, claimed a retailer at Karwan Bazar.

Mr Shafiquzzaman said gas crisis had a major impact on the sugar refineries. It reduced production of five refineries by 20-25 per cent.

"We have talked to the government officials concerned, and sufficient gas will be supplied to all the refineries from Sunday. In this way, the supply will be normal within the next two to three days."

"Even if the supply is low, the prices are not expected to increase. The DNCRP will ensure stability in the market."

"If you (dealers, big retailers) tell us of your demands, we will discuss with the companies and arrange direct supply of sugar," he noted.

DNCRP Director Monjur Mohammad Shahriar along with sugar dealers Zafar Iqbal, Md Omar Farooq and Jamal Hossain, also spoke, among others.

Mr Shahriar informed that the directorate organised a meeting in its office, involving all parties, including the refiners, dealers, retailers, market observers and media persons.

"We will prepare a report - based on the meeting outcome - and will send it to the Ministry of Commerce," he added.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bank (BB), in a press release on Sunday, claimed that there is no sugar supply deficit in the country this year compared to that of last year; and another 0.1 million tonnes of sugar would reach Bangladesh soon.

"We are hopeful that the sugar market will be normal through a modest supervision," the BB release added.

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