Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai is prepared to remove sugar from the list of price-controlled products with consent from stakeholders.
Commerce Ministry ready to remove sugar from controlled product list
Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai has assured representatives of sugarcane growers that his ministry is ready to remove sugar from the list of price-controlled products, if there is consent from all stakeholders.
The Central Committee on the Prices of Goods and Services (CCPGS) has issued an announcement adding sugar to the list of controlled products, after the Sugar and Sugarcane Committee decided to increase the ex-refinery prices of white and pure white sugar, for the 2023-24 harvest, by 4 baht/kg, effective from November 2nd. This move has caused approximately 50 sugarcane millers to threaten to suspend operations in protest.
Committee formed to tackle the sugar price issue
At a meeting with representatives of four sugarcane grower associations, Phumtham stated that a committee, led by his advisor Yanyong Puangrach, will be established to address the problem of sugar prices. It is likely that sugar will be excluded from the list of price-controlled products. The next meeting has been scheduled for Monday. A representative of the sugarcane growers assured the meeting that millers will not shut down their plants, as threatened, and that there is enough supply to meet domestic demand.
Sugar prices announced for the upcoming harvest
The Sugar and Sugarcane Committee has announced the retail prices of white and pure white sugar for the 2023-24 harvest at 23 baht and 24 baht/kg respectively.
Sugar is one of the most important agricultural products in Thailand. It is the second-largest exporter of sugar in the world, after Brazil, and contributes significantly to the country’s economy. The main markets for Thai sugar are China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan.
However, the sugar industry in Thailand also faces many challenges, such as fluctuating global prices, environmental impacts, labor shortages, and trade disputes.