Vaishali Panchal admits she loves quaffing tea and coffee throughout the day.
These days though, the Koparkhairane resident is consciously trying to cut down on her consumption due to rising sugar prices.
“Just as vegetable prices were falling, sugar prices have almost doubled since last year,” said Panchal. “Wonder if the government cares.”
Sugar prices, which witnessed a record high in the last couple of months, have breached their previous high.
What is worse for consumers is that prices are expected
to rise further in the coming week.
In November, sugar prices peaked at Rs 35-39 per kg in the wholesale market. The following month, they were down to Rs 33-35.
On Thursday, though, the wholesale price rose to Rs 41.55 per kg. The retail price is Rs 45 per kg — up by Rs 7-8 in just a week. Excess demand and inadequate supply have fuelled the price rise.
“Retail price of sugar is rising on a daily basis for the last few days. It will rise further by Re 1 on Friday,” said Tejas Shah, a retailer from Vashi. “With the wholesale market expecting prices to touch Rs 50 per kg in a week, retail price of sugar could scale Rs 55.”
“The country requires 230 lakh tonnes of sugar a year,” said Mukesh Kuvadia, secretary of the Bombay Sugar Merchants’ Association.
“This year’s production estimate is pegged at 160 lakh tonnes — 70 lakh tonnes below requirement.”