SUGAR PRODUCER WANTS TO RAISE PRICE BY 29 SEN PER KG
The current level is not competitive, say manufacturers
ASUGAR manufacturer has called on the government to increase the retail price of sugar by 29 sen per kg to RM3.24. Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) group president and chief executive officer Datuk Zakaria Arshad said the company was in talks with the government on the matter.
“But, we also know that the government has difficulty to (approve it),” he said.
He had earlier attended the annual general meeting of FGVH’s subsidiary, MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd.
The government increased the sugar price by 11 sen per kg to RM2.95 per kg on March 1, although MSM had asked for a 40sen increase.
Zakaria said the current price was less competitive than that in other countries such as Thailand, which is one of largest sugar producers in the world.
“Thailand prices a kilogramme of its refined sugar at RM4, which is inclusive of goods and services tax, while ours is priced only close to RM3.
“If the government can raise it (by another 29 sen), this will ease our burden and we can sustain our performance ahead,” he said.
MSM CEO Mohamad Amri Sahari said the price volatility of raw sugar and ringgit performance had posed a challenge for the company to sustain its operations.
However, he said, MSM was fortunate that the raw sugar price had dropped to US$0.155 (67 sen) per pound now compared with US$0.22 per pound in November and December last year.
“If the raw sugar price increases, it will be very difficult for us.”
Amri said with the recent increase of sugar price locally, consumption was expected to remain flat this year.
He said sugar price in Malaysia was among the cheapest in the region, especially among nonsugar producing countries.
Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said an increase in sugar price would lead to domino effects in the market.
“There will be spillover effects as has happened in the past. It will cause price increases for other food items such as your regular glass of the teh tarik or roti canai. Consumers will be affected.
“The government should study the market and decide on a suitable rate that will not adversely affect consumers,” he told the New Straits Times.
Yusof said the government should crack down on traders who raised prices unreasonably.