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Sugar prices out of our control—Illovo

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Illovo Sugar Malawi Limited says it has no control over speculative trends that have led the price of sugar to increase to between K900 and K1, 200 in some outlets.

According to Illovo, the normal retail price of sugar is still K750 per kilogramme contrary to the prices currently prevailing on the market.

Over the past few months, low supply of sugar saw some retailers increasing prices for the commodity despite Illovo maintaining prices of sugar since the last review in December 2016.

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In a statement, Illovo, however, said it anticipates production for the month of May alone to be around 45,000 tonnes against a monthly demand of approximately 12,000 tonnes which the company said is enough to feed the domestic market while also allowing for exports.

“With such production, any evidence of artificial shortage will vanish immediately and any stocks retained by traders who may be speculating will be flushed out,” Illovo said.

Spot checks we conducted earlier in the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre found that a handful of retail outlets are selling the product at K750 with most pegging a kilogramme of sugar at between K800 and K1,000.

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Illovo Sugar Public Relations Manager Ireen Phalula confirmed the speculative trends on the market and she attributed the development to erratic supply of brown sugar towards the end of the 2016/2017 sugar milling season.

But Phalula said the 2017/2018 milling season has since started and she said the resumption in sugar production means continuity of supplies to the market for all types of sugar to all customers and other interested buyers at the factory price.

“At the moment, the country has 4,359 tonnes of sugar from the previous season in Illovo warehouses, customer warehouses and in market outlets. This is enough sugar for the country,” she earlier told us.

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