Prices of sugar, jaggery show upticks in foreign demand

The prices of food commodities continued upward trajectory in 2022 and sugar and jaggery prices were included in that list, according to Yangon wholesale market.
The prices of sugar and jaggery also broke the record in 2022 along with chilli pepper, onion and palm oil, Ko Sein Chun, a trader, told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).
Jaggery supply cannot meet the growing demand amid the shortage of toddy palm tree climbers and the decline in the number of palm tree forests. The jaggery price stayed below K1,000 per viss prior to 2010. The price quadrupled in 2022. Similarly, local sugar mills will supply fresh sugar at the end of the year.
The wholesale price of jaggery hit up to K3,700 per viss in Yangon markets. A few months are remaining for new sugar to enter the market. The sugar was priced at K2,550 per viss in the wholesale markets. The market prices of sugar and jaggery are the highest in history, Ko Chit Ko, a trader who sends commodities to regions outside Yangon, told the GNLM.
On 26 September 2022, the sugar price touched a high of K2,530 per viss and the jaggery price moved in the range of K2,550 and K3,750 per depending on different varieties produced from different regions.
There were around 450,000 acres of sugarcane in 2019 and 2020 when the sugar price was below K1,000 per viss. The agricultural inputs cost only K500,000 per acre then. Approximately 20 tonnes of sugarcane were produced on average. The sugarcane fetched about K400,000 per tonne at that time in Shan State.
However, the sugarcane was offered only K33,000 per tonne by a mill in Bago Region without transport costs.
The annual sugar production is estimated at 500,000 tonnes and local consumption is about 450,000 tonnes. Beyond self-sufficiency, 40,000 tonnes of sugar were shipped to Viet Nam between January and April 2022.
Sugar price plunged to below K1,000 per viss in the wholesale market in late September 2019. The price rose to K1,750 per viss after mid-2010. After that, the price plummeted to the lowest of K845 per viss on 26 September 2020.
The sugar market raised its head with K2,000 per viss in 2021. The prices increased to K2,230 in mid-June, K2,370 on 8 September and K2,550 on 21 September 2022 respectively.
The price decline is improbable as there is a strong foreign demand, a seller said. Following the high price of sugar, sugarcane will be offered K90,000 per tonne in the upcoming season, the sugar mills notified. —TWA/GNLM

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