The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) wants local refineries and producers in the nation’s sugar sector to carry out a downward review of current sugar prices in line with emerging trends in global sugar market.
According to the NSDC, this is necessary in view of the emerging worrisome trend in the domestic sugar market, adding that, “the Council had believed that with time, the trend would reverse, but indeed, it has not; hence the need to reach out to all our major sector players and find workable solutions.”
A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Council, Dr. Latif Busari, pointed that, “Between January and June this year, while world sugar prices have dropped by around 18 per cent, wholesale prices in Nigeria have gone up by 15 per cent. Wholesale prices today are hovering around the high prices of N2000, and council keeps receiving complaints from both industrial and domestic consumers who wonder why the declining international prices are not reflected in the local market, given the fact that Nigeria still imports over 98 per cent of its raw sugar needs.”
Dr Latif Busari stated that with most of the major producers projecting good crops, and many large consuming countries still holding substantial stocks, global sugar prices are more likely to witness further downward pressure, and no one knows when it would bottom out.
“Council had done a conservative estimate of the cost profile, and while it agrees that the recent depreciation in our local currency relative to the dollar has eroded some of the gains, our estimates reveal that ex-factory price of refined sugar in Nigeria should cost around N6, 000 per 50kg bag or N120, 000 per ton even when a realistic, reasonable margin is factored into the equation,” the statement read in part.