Illovo Malawi imports sugar from Zambia to avert shortage

Illovo Sugar Malawi Limited has started importing sugar from neighbouring Zambia to address current shortage of the commodity on the market.

The country for the past two months has been experiencing acute shortage of sugar, forcing people into long queues in supermarkets as they engage in panic-buying for the commodity. The shortage also forced some traders to hike the retail and wholesale price, hurting the consumers in the process.

In an interview with Capital Radio, Illovo Commercial Manager Geoff Mkandawire disclosed that the company had imported 600 tons of sugar from Zambia to improve supply on the market.

Sugar panick buying

Mkandawire said the company was importing the commodity following its delays to speed up its production, which was expected to resume earlier this month at the start of this year’s sugar milling season.

“We are importing sugar from Zambia and so far we have imported 600 tons, and most of it was distributed in central and northern regions. The country is experiencing sugar shortage due to the fact that this year we experienced unprecedented demand of sugar of which most of it was exported outside the country,” Mkandawire said.

Last month, the company promised to improve sugar supply on local market soon after resumption of production scheduled earlier this month.

However, Mkandawire attributed the delay to rains in Nchalo that had forced the company to halt sugarcane harvest for a while.

Mkandawire was, however, certain that availability of sugar on local market will get back to normal starting this weekend.

“By this weekend we expect the supply to be back to normal. We resumed our production on Thursday last week and Dwangwa is starting production this week. The situation is expected to normalize very soon,” he explained.

Illovo according to Mkandawire produces 300,000 tons of sugar annually and two third of that is for local market.

Mkandawire has since asked government to put strong measures to regulate exportation of sugar by private traders to ensure that the country doesn’t run of supply as is the case this year.

Meanwhile, sugar is selling between K350 and K400 per packet of 1 kg from K240 recommended price.

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