Business - Companies & Markets - Featured - Local - November 25, 2020

Zimbabwe: Local sales of sugar fell 13.7% in H1 on measures to ease speculative trade and smuggling

ZIMBABWE’S sugar industry reported a 13.7% decline in sugar sales for the six months ended 30 September 2020, a local producer said on Tuesday.

The country’s sugar industry has a single marketing desk administered by Zimbabwe Sugar Sales.

Industry local sales of sugar declined to 158 000 tons during the period under review from 183 000 tons in H1 2019. This was attributed due to measures taken by the industry in the early part of the financial year to minimize speculative trade and illegal exports to neighboring countries.

“Such practices are common in hyperinflationary environments as some traders capitalise on pricing distortions on account of exchange rate differentials,” Chairman Dan Morokane said in a statement accompanying Hippo Valley results.

“Consumer spending power also came under pressure as salary and wage adjustments in the country generally lagged behind inflation.”

Industry export sales recorded a 43% growth to 67 000 tons for the six months despite a temporary suspension of sugar imports by Kenya in June 2020.

Total industry sugar production from the current harvesting season is forecast at between 430 000 tons and 440 000 tons.

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