PETALING JAYA: The high global price of raw sugar, plus the falling ringgit, have pushed up prices of premium sugar this month, said producers.
MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, the country’s largest refined sugar producer, said it had increased the prices of its premium sugar to wholesalers by 20% to 30% in November.
While the prices of coarse granulated and fine granulated sugar are controlled by the Government, a source from the company explained that the prices of premium sugar – caster, icing, brown and soft brown sugar – are not.
“This adjustment in November was inevitable. It was not done on a whim but based on our analysis of market trends. Our profits have dropped due to the upward trend of global sugar price and weak ringgit,” she said.
Prices of premium sugar was last adjusted in 2012, she said.
Wholesalers were expected to pass on the extra cost from this latest price hike to retailers, who would in turn increase the retail price of premium sugar.
This is likely to put a strain on those who use premium sugar.
Administrative manager Olivia Cheah said she might resort to other cost-saving measures.
“During festive seasons like Christmas and Chinese New Year, I bake festive goodies instead of buying ready-made ones to save money.
“Perhaps I have to think of an alternative now,” she said when met at a bakery supplies store here.
It was reported on Nov 22 that MSM Malaysia has requested the Government to look into raising the ceiling price of sugar by 20% to 30%, citing a hike in world price for sugar and foreign exchange loss.
The current ceiling price for coarse granulated sugar is RM2.84 per kg, and RM2.94 per kg for fine granulated sugar.
The source from MSM Malaysia said that should its request for a higher ceiling price for these two types of sugar be granted in the near future, it would not increase the prices of its premium sugar again.
Meanwhile, a check at hypermarkets showed there was no shortage of sugar.
Sources in hypermarkets said they had not been informed of any price increase by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.
Last week, Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin was reported to have said that the Government was looking into a request by sugar producers to increase the ceiling retail price of refined sugar.