Consumers will have to dig dipper into their pockets to purchase sugar, as producers Illovo Sugar Malawi Plc. effects a price hike for the commodity.
In a statement released on this morning the Malawi stock exchange listed firm’s management has increased the prices of Sugar effective today, 21 October.
Consumers are now parting with K1500 for a kilogram of brown sugar and K1 660 for white sugar.
As of Thursday, a kilogram of brown sugar was selling at a around K1 200 in most retail shops across the country.
The hike has been attributed to increased illegal exportation of sugar to Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania.
“The current prevailing trends of parallel market Foreign exchange rates between the Malawi Kwacha (MWK) and our neighboring countries’ currencies (in Zambia (ZWK), Mozambique (MZN) and Tanzania (TSH)) has made products from Malawi comparatively cheaper hence creating room for illegal exports into the three neighboring countries and beyond,” reads part of the statement.
They argue that the price adjustment will help minimize the illegal exportations.
The development is coming a few months after the country was hit with a sugar crisis, when retailers had little to no stocks of the product.
Managing Director for Illovo Lekani Katandula, earlier told Capital FM that the shortage was created by some traders who were illegally exporting the commodity to neighboring Tanzania in search of forex.
It is against this background that Illovo is using the price hike as precautionary measure against a reoccurrence of the shortage.
“This situation has created a risk that our country could run out of sugar and other products that are similarly being illegally exported,” Illovo says.
The Illovo management is confident that the current hike will help to create price stabilization in case there is another shortage.