Since the start of the year 2022, Bangladesh have been struggling to make ends meet. The Russia-Ukraine war, followed by heavy rains and floods that hampered domestic production of food grains have raised troubles for the Asian nation. Owing to the series of events, the prices of several food and agro-commodities have been on rise in the domestic markets of Bangladesh, pinching the pockets of commoners.
To relieve them and lessen their sufferings, Bangladesh have been actively importing of late. However, the prices of food and agro-commodities continue to rise. Among several food and agro commodities, the prices of sugar are ruling high in the domestic markets of Bangladesh, owing to which the sugar refiners of the country requested the government to cut the import duty on imports of sugar.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) on 26th of February 2023, lifted the import duty on raw and refined sugar with immediate effect. The Board also reduced the regulatory duty from 30% to 25% on imports of sugar. However, despite this duty cut, the prices of sugar in the domestic markets are on the rise in Bangladesh.
Sugar Prices Maintain An Upward Trend
After the National Board of Revenue (NBR) announced duty cut on import of raw and refined sugar with immediate effect, prices were expected to drop. However, sugar prices are still on the rise. As per data, the prices of sugar rose by 130 taka or 3% per maund in the wholesale market of Bangladesh after duty cut by NBR.
Rise in prices of sugar in the wholesale markets has passed on to the retail markets as well. According to traders, packaged sugar is unavailable in the market and loose sugar price has gone up by two to three takas per kg in the domestic markets of Bangladesh.
Reasons Behind Rise In Sugar Prices
Continued rise in sugar prices have made living difficult for people of Bangladesh. Ziaul Haque, a wholesaler, attributed rising sugar prices to supply shortages. He also mentioned that a hike in transportation cost is also fueling sugar prices in the domestic markets.
People believe that the duty cut will lower down prices of sugar and will bring relief to the domestic sugar consumers in the long run. Biswajit Saha, director for corporate and regulatory affairs at City Group said the government decision to cut the duty on Sugar Imports have come late and hence it will some time to reap the benefits of this decision.
The Bottom Line
For over an year now, Bangladesh have been struggling with commodity shortages that is fueling up prices. Even now, the prices of most essentials including sugar are on the rise. To people’s surprise, even the duty cut on import of sugar have failed to bring down prices in the wholesale and retail market as of now. However, experts believe that with time, the Bangladesh’s government’s decision will reap benefits and will bring relief to the domestic sugar consumers.
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