New sugar prices


To cost more for industries
The Ethiopian Sugar Corporation is to set two different prices for sugar for industries using it as an input for their production, and for local public consumers, sources say. The state corporation manages local sugar industries and is also the sole importer of the product for distribution in the country. According to our sources, it is currently carrying out the revision of the price of sugar that it supplies to consumer industries. Sugar is sold at the same price to all users, including factories, but based on the new plan, the price for industries will increase significantly from the current rate, reliable sources indicated.
Regrettably, they weren’t able to cite the exact amount of the increase or when the new price adjustment is to be implemented.
Currently, the price of sugar for all consumers is set at 14.50 birr per quintal. For several years, the gap in demand and supply made the market very unstable even though the government fully controls the distribution and supply.
Just recently the government reduced sugar supply to consumer industries by half.  Experts that are close to the issue informed Capital that following the decrease in supply, the price of the product has gone up in some major market areas, by nearly three birr (around 17 birr per kg).
The state corporation has three sugar factories, Metehara, Fincha and Wonji Shoa which, so far, are unable to meet the burgeoning demand. Therefore, the three factories are undertaking several expansion projects to increase their capacity.
Sugar supplied via the state owned Et Fruit Enterprise and Merchandise Wholesale and Import Trade Enterprise (MEWIT) or through Kebeles costs 14.50 birr a kilo. To mitigate the gap in supply, the government imports sugar every year through international bids or tenders.
The Tendaho Sugar Factory, a new addition to the industry and the biggest state-owned sugar factory, is in the final stages of construction and will commence production soon.
The Ethiopian government has attached a high priority tag to the expansion of the sugar sector, not only to meet the local market, but also to become one of the major sugar exporters in the World. To translate this vision into reality, the government has launched some nine sugar development projects in different parts of the country, that are scheduled to be completed in the coming few years.
The government aims to become a self-sufficient sugar producer by the end of 2013, and increase production eightfold to 2.3 million tons by mid 2015, producing a surplus of 1.25 million tons for export.