‘Local retail sugar price among the world’s lowest’

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 29, 2018.
‘Local retail sugar price among the world’s lowest’
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KUALA LUMPUR: Local sugar refiners MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd and Central Sugars Refinery Sdn Bhd (CSR) have pointed out that retail sugar price in Malaysia remains among the lowest in the world, ahead of the 10 sen per kg drop in the retail ceiling price of white sugar from Sept 1.

“At the revised retail rates of RM2.85 per kg for coarse grain sugar and RM2.95 per kg for fine granulated sugar, the prices are even lower than the prices in sugar-producing countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as countries with lower per capita income such as Cambodia and Myanmar,” MSM and CSR said in a joint statement yesterday.

They also noted that the sugar industry is continuously challenged by illegal activities such as sugar smuggling and infiltration of illicit sugar, on top of higher operational costs in the form of natural gas tariff, electricity tariff, oil prices and minimum wage.

Nevertheless, MSM and CSR said they respect and will abide by the government’s decision to reduce the retail ceiling price of white sugar and will continue to engage with the relevant parties in ensuring steady sugar supply despite the volatile raw sugar price.

They are also looking forward to the government’s commitment to completely abolishing refined sugar import permits and curbing sugar smuggling activities, which are threats to matters concerning “halal”, quality control and other mandatory certification requirements.

“The sugar industry is a cyclical business and it is currently in a surplus mode, which has resulted in a reduction of global raw sugar price.

“However, when faced with a challenging market scenario, in particular higher raw sugar price and unfavourable exchange rate, local refiners have continued to absorb the impact to consumers by ensuring a steady sugar supply to the nation,” added MSM and CSR.