White Sugar Import Arrives in Belize
White sugar is expected to hit the store shelves come tomorrow. It is not the locally milled product, but rather an import from the United States. According to BSI/ASR, the temporary selling price for domestic white sugar is $2,654.96 per long ton or $59.26 per 50 lb. bag. All this translates to an estimated one dollar and fifty cents per pound. BSI’s Shawn Chavarria had announced the importation of white sugar on December 27 last year. For context, here is that interview.
Sean Chavaria, BSI’s Director of Finance: “We currently have roughly ten days left of white sugar and we’re looking to import white sugar from the US to give us some cover while the crop starts. We have enough brown at the moment but as I said we are taking that brown sugar from export markets and putting it on the domestic market so that we can continue to supply. But in terms of white sugar we’re very low. We’re looking to import to give us cover for the first week once the crop starts so that we can continue to supply the market. We indicated to government that we will not be making any mark up on that sugar so we will sell it at cost, the cost that we’re estimating after shipping to Belize will be around $1.20 Belize per pound. The distributors and the retailers will probably put a markup on that anywhere between 20-25% so I think anywhere between $1.40-$1.50 could end up being what the sugar is sold for on the shelf but that should be very temporary until we get the crop running and we can start producing sugar from Belize from sugar cane here but that gives you the level of price disparity that currently exists between the sugar being sold in Belize what it fetches in the export markets and why the price of sugar in Belize needs to be adjusted if not we will continue to face this challenge.”
It is to be noted that this new price of white sugar is temporary due to the market shortages created by unauthorized cross border trade which necessitated the temporary importation of white sugar. Prices will revert to normal once this stock is depleted and production of white sugar from the 2024 crop commences.