Vietnam sugar prices rise on demand

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Sugar prices have risen sharply since early this month although it has been reported that there is sufficient supply to meet local consumption needs.

Retail prices of sugar have risen 10-20 percent to VND19,000-20,000 (US$1-1.1) per kilogram compared to the second quarter of this year.

Doan Xuan Hoa, a senior official at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the hike was due to anticipation that demand will rise for the upcoming mid-autumn festival and some other festivals over the next few months.

The country consumes 1.3- 1.4 million tons of sugar a year, and current stocks are enough to meet the needs of major sweetmeat producers, he said.

Meanwhile, sugarcane production in the central region is expected to be low this year due to the recent droughts, and the agriculture ministry has proposed that the government grants quotas to import 150,000 tons of sugar.

However, Ha Huu Phai, general secretary of the Vietnam Sugar Association, said the country does not face a sugar shortage and there was no need for further imports.

The mid-autumn festival season will need a maximum of 100,000 tons of sugar, he said, adding Vietnam still has a big inventory of sugar. By July 15, the country had 174,000 tons of the product in stock. Also, enterprises have not used up their quota to import 200,000 tons of sugar granted by the government earlier, Phai said.

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