Thai Commerce Minister defends recent sugar price increase

Picture courtesy of Thairath

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce defended the recent sugar price hike following discussions with all parties involved. The minister, Phumtham Wechayachai, maintains the decision was made based on appropriate cost considerations, not a failure to control prices.

Today, at Government House, Phumtham addressed concerns that the government couldn’t control sugar prices after a Cabinet meeting yesterday decided to increase sugar prices by 2 baht.

Phumtham said the initial control of sugar prices was due to public hardship, using the power of the Ministry of Commerce to regulate the product. Various sugarcane farmers’ associations across the country were then invited for discussions to set up a committee to explore the actual situation and how appropriate the price hike was.

Phumtham emphasised that any suggestions were taken into account and he was ready to resolve any issues, even if it meant cancelling what had been done, reported KhaoSod.

A meeting was held with the Sugarcane and Sugar Committee, which included representatives from the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and sugarcane farmers’ associations from all four regions. The conclusion was that the sugar price increase of 2 baht was reasonable considering the cost of sugarcane farmers.

However, an additional 2 baht collection for the sugar fund to address environmental issues from sugarcane farming was deemed inappropriate to be burdened on consumers. Therefore, relevant agencies were tasked to find a solution to share this burden. Nevertheless, Phumtham confirmed that the decision to increase the price of granulated sugar was reasoned, not a failure of control.

In related news, a report by CovrigAnalytics released revealed an anticipated global sugar shortage.

The deficit is estimated to be 2.4 million metric tonnes in the 2023/24 crop year, marking an increase of 200,000 tonnes from previous expectations. Despite increased sugar production in Brazil, Russia, and China, the shortfall in output from India and Thailand, due to inadequate humidity, will not be compensated. To read more click HERE

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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