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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.