Nguyen Thanh Long, who also serves as general director of Can Tho Sugar Joint Stock Company, told the Daily that the sugar trade should be driven by the market rather than administrative sanctions imposed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
In November 2012, facing mounting inventories and price falls, the association had sought approval from the Government to export sugar, but it was not until this March that the industry ministry had given its green light under the Government’s instruction, Long said.
However, as the Lunar New Year holiday as the peak consumption season had been over, there were not many chances to ship sugar abroad. The export volume, therefore, has yet to reach the licensed 200,000 tons up to now, he remarked.
The industry ministry now only allows the association to extend the export deadline of 200,000 tons of sugar until the end of this month even though the latter asked for an extension until the end of this year or until exporters run out of stock.
Long noted that with the deadline extended to end-July, the industry would be unable to ship the amount abroad as there are only two weeks left for this month.
As of the middle of this month, sugar inventories at local firms remained very huge, at a combined 450,000 tons, while the demand is dropping, with total sale volume at enterprises only reaching 70,000-80,000 tons a month, the association reports.
“If such a low sale tempo continues, sugar stocks will run high in the near future as the Nuoc Trong sugar plant in the southern province of Tay Ninh has entered the new crop while other plants in the Mekong Delta will also be busy in September,” Long forecast.
Regarding sugarcane production in the delta, Nguyen The Tu, director of the agriculture department of Hau Giang Province’s Phung Hiep District, said the locality as the largest sugarcane growing area in the region cultivated more than 9,500 hectares in the crop 2012-2013 and will begin sugarcane harvest in the middle of September.
Compared to last year’s crop, this year’s sugarcane price is VND70 a kilo lower, at only VND830 a kilo for quality sugarcane, he said.