The government will buy 1 lakh tonnes of sugar from Brazil to meet demand during the holy month of Ramadan, Industries Minister Dilip Barua said.
It will make the purchase through a state-to-state contract, Barua told reporters at the ministry, after returning from an official visit to Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer. “We have moved to buy sugar from Brazil.”
“We want to ensure a smooth supply of sugar in the domestic market during Ramadan,” he said.
State-owned Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) will buy sugar based on international prices after pursuing state-to-state negotiations, Barua said.
Last year, sugar prices remained stable during Ramadan as the industries ministry bought 50,000 tonnes of sugar from the international market through an open tender, the minister said.
In Ramadan, beginning in July, daily sugar consumption rises to 4,500-5,000 tonnes from 3,000-3,500 tonnes in other months, according to an industry estimate.
Bangladesh consumes 1,400,000 tonnes of sugar a year but the country has to meet almost its entire requirement from imports due to an insufficient production of local sugarcane.
Private refiners meet nearly 95 percent of annual sugar demand by importing raw sugar, mainly from Brazil and Argentina. BSFIC meets the rest of demand partly by crushing sugarcane in the 15 mills under it and through imports.
The corporation produced 69,300 tonnes of sugar till February, out of its target for 135,000 tonnes, from local sugarcane in the current fiscal year.