Sugar price climbs, consumers association demands government to tell reasons

The price of sugar has increased for more than three weeks in Bujumbura city. Consumers and sellers wonder about the causes. The Burundian Consumers’ Association calls on the government to communicate the causes of the rise in sugar price and fix the price to avoid speculation.

Sugar price has risen

The price of sugar ranges from BIF 2,600 to 3,000 per kg in various markets and shops of Bujumbura. “I don’t know whether this is pure speculation on sugar price or increase in sugar price. I find that each seller fixes their own price,” says a resident of Kinindo met at Kinindo Market in the south of Bujumbura.

Retailers say they set the price according to the price paid to stock up. A young seller operating in Kinindo Market sells one kg of sugar for BIF 2700. She explains that she bought a 50kg bag of sugar for BIF 120, 000. “A bag of sugar has increased by BIF 8, 000. I used to buy 50kg of sugar for BIF 112,000, now the same quantity costs BIF120, 000. So, I have to increase the price per kg, “says Aline Muhimana.

Another retailer says wholesalers have increased the price of a 50 kg bag from BIF 112,000 to 135,000. “I have decided to stop selling sugar until the government sets the official price,” says Jean Marie Nkeshimana, operating in Buyenzi City Market located in the north of Bujumbura. He is worried that sugar is growing scarce. “Wholesalers are reluctant to sell sugar, stocks are almost empty. There’s a sugar shortage, we don’t know why,” says Nkeshimana. He calls on the Government to communicate the reasons for this sugar shortage and regulate the price on the market.

Noël Nkurunziza, ABUCO spokesperson asked the Ministry of Commerce to inform the population about the causes of the price increase of this product locally manufactured. “The Ministry has to regulate the price to avoid speculation,” says Nkurunziza, who believes that if the sugar production has decreased, the Sugar Company of Moso-SOSUMO should notify it so that the government can authorize the sugar import. “Communication is necessary to find a solution to a problem,” says
Nkurunziza. When contacted, the Minister of Commerce said it will react on the issue later.