Makamba : big losses among sugar wholesale traders who are abandoning this trade

Makamba : big losses among sugar wholesale traders who are abandoning this trade

The sugar wholesale traders announced that they were stopping this activity during a meeting with the governor of Makamba (southern Burundi) last Wednesday. They indicate losing up to 800 Burundi francs per bag sold to retailers in the provincial town center. For wholesalers in districts outside the provincial town center, the losses are even heavier. They ask Sosumo (Moso Sugar Company) to raise the price per bag or to open its own depot in Makamba. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

According to sugar wholesalers in Makamba, the price of sugar per bag is 162,000 francs. But the cost of transport and labor put expenses far above the purchase price, which leads to a net loss.

“At Sosumo, a bag is purchased at 159,500 Burundi francs. If we add the transport costs of between 2,500 and 3,000 francs per bag as well as more than 300 francs for loading and unloading, a bag costs 162,800 Burundi francs minimum”, explained traders.

They say that in such a context, Sosumo should either increase the purchase price per bag, or open its own depot in Makamba.

Wholesalers from communities far from the provincial town center, for their part, say that the loss is far greater than that suffered by those in the town center.

While the provincial governor held a meeting with the sugar traders, the latter also indicated that until then they had not been supplied with the quantities for the months of July and August.

“But we were ordered not to criticize irregularities in the sugar trade. However, we had a lot of grievances to make”, regret traders.

The decision of wholesalers not to collect sugar from Sosumo created a deficiency of this product in all the districts of the province. Retailers then speculated on its price which rose to six thousand Burundi francs in just a few days.

The official price of sugar is 3,300 francs per kilo.

Even if the authorities of the small East African nation have recently revised upwards the price of sugar, the product remains rare, even inaccessible on the Burundian market.

Burundians who go to neighboring countries, especially Rwanda, buy a few small quantities which they bring home.

Since March 2021, Burundi has experienced a deficiency of repetitive sugar. The managers of the only state company that manufactures it always explain that “Sosumo produces sufficient quantities”.

At the end of July this year, the Burundian authorities revised its price upwards from 2,500 to 3,300 francs, arguing that they want to “interest private investors who import sugar in order to satisfy all Burundian customers”. That hasn’t stopped speculation.

Several local observers remain convinced that a large quantity of sugar is sold in neighboring DRC and accuse senior civil authorities and security officials of being involved in this trade or of encouraging it.

President Neva recently met with sugar wholesalers and threatened severe sanctions against anyone who illegally exports sugar or speculates on its price.

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