By BOSORINA ROBBY
PORT Moresby shops yesterday reported acute shortage of sugar on their shelves – whether it is Ramu Sugar or King Sugar from Seeto Kui, The National reports.
The major shops such as Stop N Shop and the TST and mini-supermarkets in the suburbs had limited stock or had run out since last week.
At the TST Tokarara Supermarket, the 1kg packet was selling for K6.90 while the 500g was selling for K3.90.
The management said these were the last in stock before they run dry.
There was a notice at the shop urging shoppers to limit their purchases to 2kg each.
At the JMart Supermarket at Erima, the management had restricted customers’ sales to only two packets of 500g Ramu Sugar at K3.90, adding that stock was very low.
However, they are also selling imported sugar from Australia and Thailand such as the Fabulous White Sugar selling for K8.45/kg and the K23.20/2kg.
Its unrefined brown sugar is selling for K10.30/kg.
The Black and Gold white sugar is selling for K11.50/kg and the unrefined brown sugar is K18.30/kg.
Lin Pure Refined Sugar from Thailand is selling for K5.50/kg while Number One Brothers Sugar is selling K1.80/200g and CSR brown sugar unrefined is selling for K11.50/500g.
According to the Ramu Agri Industries (RAI), Papua New Guinea’s only sugar producer and supplier, the shortage was due to many factors but mainly environmental.
RAI took out a paid newspaper advertisement last week explaining that the amount of sugar produced was dependent on the growing conditions in the Ramu Valley.
It said cane growth and sugar production had been affected by the wetter than normal weather in the past five years, resulting in pests and diseases in the fields and the sugar content.
The company had since asked the Government to lower import tariffs on sugar so as not to pass on the high costs to consumers.
RAI was also expected to import 4,000 metric tonnes of sugar this month to meet the demand for sugar until the start of the Ramu cane harvest next month.
According to the global markets, not all sugar-producing countries sell their processed sugar on international trade markets.
Currently, 70% the world’s sugar is consumed in the country where harvested and only 30% is traded outside country of origin.
Similarly, approximately 70% of the world’s sugar comes from the sugar cane while the rest comes from its alternate, the sugar beet.