The Ministry of Industry and Trade has allowed domestic companies to
export sugar with large volumes in an attempt to reduce the record high
inventories of 450,000 tonnes.
Since the beginning of the
2012-13 sugar crop, the Sugar and Sugar Cane Association has predicted
that there would be a sugar surplus.
Sugar is one of the
country’s price-stablised commodities, so its exports are only allowed
when there is a surplus, according to Ha Huu Phai, head of the
Association’s Hanoi branch.
The country needs about 1.2-1.3 million tonnes of sugar a year.
The association estimates that the sugar output in the 2012-2013 crop will reach 1.4 million tonnes.
In addition, stocked sugar from last year as well as imported and smuggled sugar are available.
About 300,000-400,000 tonnes of sugar are smuggled into Vietnam
from the southwest border a year, according to the association.
The country now has 40 sugar mills producing the 2012-13 sugar crop.
The sugar inventories have increased by about 100,000 tonnes a month
since the beginning of the crop which normally begins in September.
To reduce inventories, some sugar mills have cut price, but sales continue to be low because of low demand.
Some sugar mills have also exported small quantities of sugar through unofficial channels.
To reduce sugar inventories in the long term, smuggled sugar must be
strictly controlled and sales of legal sugar must increase, according to
The sugar industry needs to improve its competitiveness on price and quality, especially against smuggled sugar, he said.-VNA