News / Economy

African Sugar Producers: Smuggling a Major Problem

A worker irrigates a sugarcane plantation at Kenana Sugar Company's main plant, 270 km (170 miles) south of Khartoum, Sudan, May 14, 2013
A worker irrigates a sugarcane plantation at Kenana Sugar Company's main plant, 270 km (170 miles) south of Khartoum, Sudan, May 14, 2013
Reuters
Africa's sugar producers want governments to tighten border controls across the continent and tackle sugar smuggling, a problem they said was helping drive down local sugar prices.
 
Rosemary Mkok, chief executive of the Kenya Sugar Board, told a conference of sugar producers on Wednesday that smuggling was a big problem in east Africa's biggest economy.
 
Large amounts of illegal imports had led to stockpiles and was pushing down sugar prices in Africa, with illegal imports being re-packaged into local bags to conceal their identity and evade the surveillance network.
 
“In the period between January 2014 to date, the market [in Kenya] has experienced a decline in sugar prices to a low of $36 for a 50-kilogram bag, against an average industry break-even of $43...,” Mkok told the conference of African Sugar Producers in Kenya's port city of Mombasa.
 
She said stocks in Kenya had hit a record high of 40,000 metric tons against an optimum level of 9,000 metric tons.
 
Sugar prices are already under pressure due to excess global production.
 
Prices on the global market, especially in the European Union - Africa's biggest external market - have fallen sharply over the last few years due to oversupply, and African producers are seeking new markets to cushion themselves.
 
African sugar producers at the conference have been discussing ways to increase trade of the commodity within Africa to survive falling world prices and the end of duty-free access to the European Union.
 
Jose Orive, Chief Executive of the International Sugar Organization (ISO), said it was time Africa dealt with bottlenecks like smuggling and foster more trade within Africa to make it less reliant on the unstable global market.
 
“We have sensed that it [smuggling] is a serious problem. Every African sugar producer is very concerned,” Orive told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.
 
“Part of the options that countries and governments have to contemplate when they negotiate continental trade agreements is measures at the borders to control the flows of sugar,” he said.
 
“At the international level, if any country is selling below the market price, then you have the anti-dumping option at the World Trade Organization,” he added.
 
Orive said African countries facing problems with smuggling were free to ask the ISO to help them draw up statistics on the problem, but said none had made any such request.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8143
JPY
USD
119.23
GBP
USD
0.6390
CAD
USD
1.1596
INR
USD
63.304

Rates may not be current.