Sugar prices continued to fluctuate in different districts on Monday as government moved to address the problem by lifting a ban on importation.
Sugar prices continued to fluctuate in different districts on Monday as government moves to address the problem by lifting a ban on importation.
An emergency cabinet meeting on Thursday resolved to import sugar as a short term measure to contain the run away prices for the product. Currently, the country is experiencing supply shortages as both Kinyara and Kakira factories closed some of their machines for maintenance.
In Mbarara, a Uganda Radio Network reporter says the sugar shelves in super markets and retail shops are running dry amid increasing sugar prices.
Agaba Duncan, a sales attendant at KIRIMI Supermarket told URN reporter that they were selling a kilo of sugar at Shs 5,500 for ordinary sugar before stressing that they had run out of stock with the much liked pre packed sugar.
Agaba also reveals that they are selling ordinary sugar which they had stocked at the beginning of the scarcity problem. He is optimistic that sugar prices should go down by the end of this week.
At BEKA SAL Supermarket, different brands were available though in meager quantities.
Pre-packed sugar went for shillings Shs 6000 per kilogramme while ordinary sugar went for Shs 5500 per kilogramme.
In the business hub at Mbarara Central market, Deborah Katusiime, a shop owner says that she prefers dealing in ordinary sugar which is much cheaper at Shs.5,500 per kilogram.
Katusiime says she can subsidize on the price depending on the quantity one is buying to cut down on the stock she accumulated two months ago.
In the neighboring Isingiro and Bushenyi districts, the price of sugar stood at Shs.5500 and Shs.6000.
In Jinja, many retail traders have reduced prices of sugar to 4,500 shillings a kilogramme. Last week a kilo cost between 5,000 and 6,000 shillings in different parts of the district.
Other traders however, still maintain the Shs 6,000 per kilogramme arguing that they want to clear the old stock before effecting a reduction to avoid making losses.
Prisca Muduwa, a retail trader in Jinja central market says she is still selling at Shs 5,000 per kilogramme but would reduce to 4,500 shillings once her old stock is cleared.
She argues that retailers are always forced to raise prices in accordance with the charges by wholesalers. She says whereas wholesalers buy each bag at 112,400 shillings from Kakira Sugar Works, they sell each bag at a price ranging between 170,000 and 250,000 shillings, depending on a trader one is dealing with.
A wholesaler on Allidina road, who preferred anonymity, explained that the major problem with sugar prices is that there is high demand yet the supply remains low.
He cited Kakira Sugar Works, which he said supplies most traders in Jinja but added that it takes traders months before they can access goods they paid for.
His views are shared by another wholesaler along Kutch road, who identified herself only as Mutesi. She says traders pay the factory in time but get their items after months.
She blames the increase in prices of sugar on what she calls interference in the market by people from ‘high offices’ and political leaders both at the national and local levels.
high commodity prices