The Bangladeshi government is planning to import about 200,000 tons of sugar to cool down the country's continuing overheated sugar market, caused partly by short domestic output last year.
The sugar will be imported through the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB). The Commerce Ministry has already prepared a proposal to this effect which will be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for approval, local newspaper The Independent reported Wednesday.
The proposed bulk import of sugar is also aimed at breaking the monopoly of a group of syndicated importers who manipulate the market which has resulted in skyrocketing of sugar prices.
Sugar is being sold at more than 52 taka (one dollar equals to about 70 taka) a kilo compared to only around 32 taka only a few months ago. Earlier Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury said that price of sugar has not only increased in Bangladesh but also in the rest of the world due to production shortfall in sugar- producing countries like Brazil, Thailand and India.
He said the government was aware of the sugar price situation and will take necessary measures to bring back normalcy in the market.
A high official of TCB said if approved by the CCEA committee, they would organize import of sugar, hopefully from Brazil and Thailand at the earliest. The cost of import is expected to be around 420 U.S. dollars per ton. Such imported sugar will be immediately released to the market either on retail or wholesale basis to ease supply situation and bring down the prices.