GuySuCo making strides in marketing packaged sugar
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is moving away from selling bulk sugar and towards marketing packaged sugar, which is more profitable.
Speaking at a media conference on Friday, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Sasenarine Singh, said the world market price for bulk sugar is approximately US$320 to $340, while the cost of production is US$600.
“What we have started to do aggressively, is to sell a greater portion of the packaged sugar. So packaged sugar is [US$] 679. Averaging [US$]600 is the cost of production, there is a profit element of [US] $79 there… That is how we are doing it and that is how we will return this industry to viability.”
However, the CEO noted that currently only 29 per cent of Guyana’s sugar is for the packaged market, so this year, the plan is to increase this to 39 per cent because there is a sizable profit in packaged sugar.
Currently, GuySuCo’s sugar sachets sell for US$3,000 per metric tonne, cuisine US$679 per metric tonne and Demerara Gold, US$779 per metric tonne. Mr. Singh says after the pandemic the Corporation would be looking to market the sachets to the tourism market, the airline industry and the wider corporate world.
The CEO said last year, approximately eight boats left Guyana’s shores with bulk sugar bound for the international market and this would be reduced to four this year. Two boats are bound for the US market, which has a much higher value than the European market.
The GuySuCo CEO also said the marketing team recaptured the Antigua market, the Grenada market, expanded the St Vincent and the Grenadines market into packaged sugar and expanded the Trinidad market where they got US$30 more per metric tonne.
Further, the Rupununi Chamber of Commerce and Industry has indicated an interest as it aims to penetrate the Brazilian market in the Amazonian region, which has a preference for Guyana’s brown sugar.
Meanwhile, Mr. Singh says the Surinamese market is very important and he is hoping for cross border trade with the recent reopening of that border, while the possibility of infiltrating the Jamaican market is also being explored.
The team also obtained a 35 per cent increase in the price for molasses. The CEO is appealing for assistance to advance the corporation’s marketing drive.
“GUYSUCO is looking for members of the private sector who want to sell our sugar as distributers to come on board. Send your expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can evaluate your proposal and engage in partnership in doing more business locally at the packaged sugar level.
So, we want you Guyana, we want every single Guyanese to become an agent of GuySuCo. If you don’t see a product from GuySuCo in the supermarket send an email to email@example.com just say I went to the supermarket, I didn’t see your sugar. We will get it there,” Mr. Singh added.
The GuySuCo team is also assuring the public that its sugar is of a very high quality.
“Let’s make this very clear, at the Blairmont and at the Enmore packaging plant, we do not touch the sugar. It’s all done hygienically, but the little bag sugar, the loose sugar, the unbranded one, there is high possibility that there is human contact with that sugar.
The business model is now driven by the market. We are not focused on production anymore; production will have to meet the needs of the market,” he added.
The plan to sell more packaged sugar will be managed like a project, securing the best packaging material, the best designs, ensuring quality and ensuring inventory.
The CEO said there is currently 400,000 packages of sugar ready for the market, while this year the production target is 97,420 metric tonnes. He is confident they will meet this target. The PPP/C Government has allocated some $9 billion to revitalise the sugar industry, which had been neglected under the APNU+AFC.