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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2558

Sri Lanka: Sugar manufacturers ask sustainability of local sugar industry

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 27 January, (Asiantribune.com): The local sugar producers say since the world market is highly volatile a variable tariff is been imposed in all type of imported sugar to minimize the effect of fluctuation in the world market price of sugar on the ex-factory price of locally manufactured sugar.

“We are also appreciative of raising the import tariff on sugar to Rs10/kg during the last Budget and this customs duty on imported white sugar has been under a duty waiver of Rs5/kg.

Considering the high world market prices of sugar during the months of Nov. and Dec.2006, duty waiver of Rs.5/kg was allowed on brown sugar imports as well as making the import tariff on both brown and white sugar equal.

However, the world market prices of sugar have dropped sharply since. Further, this decline would continue resulting from India recently lifting its ban of sugar exports and bumper harvest of sugar cane in India.

Speaking to the media, a leading sugar producer of Sri Lanka said since the import tariffs for both brown and white sugar are currently fixed at the same rate, since December 2006 the prices of brown sugar have come down, which now stand at Rs. 50/kg.

According to the recent exercise carried out by the Sugar Pricing Committee, the ex-factory price of brown sugar was calculated at Rs.55/= per kg as the cost of manufacturing sugar locally was around Rs52.50 /kg. Therefore the manufacturers urged to take corrective measures as early as possible to rectify this situation.

They ask to remove the duty waiver on sugar imports (brown and white) and to ban import of brown sugar or to increase the import tariff on brown sugar to Rs.15/kg. So that local manufacturers can sustain their sugar production.

This may not be a burden on the consumers as the world sugar prices have taken a downward trend as seen from the latest “World Sugar Prices Report, local manufacturers emphasised.

However local manufacturers hailed the establishment of a sugar pricing committee headed by Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga to monitor the sugar prices and to take corrective action to ensure a reasonable price for the local sugar manufactures (Brown Sugar) to sustain the industry and to maintain a certain level of price of sugar for the consumers.

- Asian Tribune -

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