The sugar scarcity saga continues in Ethiopia as nine regions and two administrations received 130,000 quintals for the September supply which is a decrease of 390,000 quintals from previous supplies.
Seven sugar factories have stopped to undergo maintenance, and 36,000 metric tons of imported sugar from Algeria, as well as a shortage of government stock have all contributed to the current sugar situation. Currently households are only allotted two kilos of sugar per month from the consumer associations. Previously that amount was five kilos. Consumers told Capital that a kilo of sugar which sells for 20 birr in shops is hardly available and if it is, shops are selling it for 30 birr.
Addis Ababa which received 120,000 quintals of sugar in the previous quota received only 46,000 quintals while the other city administration Dire Dawa received 2,000 quintals as opposed to the 11,860 quintals it received previously.
The supply cut dropped the Oromia quota from 152,000 quintals to 25,000, Amhara fell down from 109,000 quintals to 18,000, Tigray from 47,000 quintals to 9,000 and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region got only 17,400 quintals from 69,000 quintals.
Afar and Harare also experienced a 50 percent supply cut and a fixed quota below 2,000 quintals.
Somali, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambela did not receive their previous supply due to technical problems. Their quota is fixed at 24,152, 4,500 and 8,000 quintals respectively.
Last week Capital also reported that MOHA, which holds a big share of the Ethiopian soft drink industry market, stopped production as of September 8. The supply cut has also dramatically affected the production of other candy, juice and biscuit factories.
Solomon Bekle, Commodity exchange at Addis Ababa Trade Bureau told Capital that the supply cut will clearly disturb the market.
“We told the consumer associations to cut the supply of households by 50 percent and in the same period we are controlling the market so sugar will not be sold at an unfair price. I think the problem will be solved when the Sugar Corporation imports sugar, as expected in Mid October, and factories resume to normal operation”.
The seven sugar factories; Finchaa, Kuraz 2, Wonji, Tendaho, Kesem, Methara and the recently completed Tana Beles have the capacity to produce up to 38,000 quintals of sugar per day.
In related news a Dubai based company who procured 44,000 quintals of sugar from Ethiopia for the Kenyan government disappeared before receiving the sugar and the 110 trucks that carry the sugar are stuck at Moyale, at Ethio-Kenya border.
The sugar were transported by Brighet Trans Border S.C and should have reached to Moyale on 31 August but due to custom clearance issues, the cargo was delayed.
The Transport Authority said that axle load limit is not the case of the issue.
“Ethiopian axle load limit is 400 tone and the Kenyan is 280 tone and we agreed that the trucks to be unloaded the additional 120 tone when there reached Moyale and to transport the rest to Nairobi and back to Moyale, however the problem happens when the agent that bought the cargo disappeared,”
Sources told Capital that trucks with their loads are waiting for further instruction at the border.
“The payment of the transporters is waiting the decision of the government’’ sources added.