The Uzbek government has implemented precautionary measures to mitigate potential risks tied to sugar producers and merchants in the lead-up to the fruit ripening season, a period marked by heightened sugar demand. This was reported by the Committee for the Development of Competition and Consumer Protection.
Domestic sugar mills are buying sugar from Brazil “at lower prices compared to world market quotations”, the committee said. As of April 15, mills have 8,000 tonnes of sugar and 78,000 tonnes of raw materials. Another 271,000 tonnes of raw materials are planned to be supplied by June.
The mills are enhancing production capacity to ensure a steady supply for the domestic market. In the initial stage, by May 1st, capacity is slated to rise by 25% compared to the previous year, boosting daily production to 2,500 tonnes of sugar and elevating annual output from 600,000 to 1 million tonnes.
The committee also highlighted that the government has implemented measures to guarantee the availability of sugar and flour for the population “in sufficient quantities and at affordable prices”.
Currently, the retail price of sugar varies between 11,500 and 14,000 soums, while in some remote areas, it ranges from 12,000 to 15,000 soums. The report states that there is an adequate supply of sugar (1 million tonnes) to satisfy the population’s annual sugar demand (averaging 650,000 tonnes), and there is no cause for concern.
The Statistics Agency reports that sugar prices increased by 4.4% in March and by 31.1% over the year.
Simultaneously, sugar prices at the UzEx rose from 11,452 soums to 12,128 soums per kg (+5.9%) in March, and on April 18, prices settled at 13,200 soums. Consequently, quotations from March 1st to date have risen by 15.3%.
In March 2022, as a result of a sugar deficit and skyrocketing prices, the Antimonopoly Committee stepped in, mandating sugar mills to raise the minimum quantity of sugar available on the exchange, sell in smaller lots, and impose a cap on the volume sold to individual buyers. The price surge was attributed to “alarmist entrepreneurs.”
Last June, in June, sugar prices increased primarily due to external factors, as explained by the former Ministry of Economic Development.