The Ethiopian Sugar Corporation (ESC) pushes the decision for the procurement of 200,000 metric tons of sugar to third parties for a reason it said clarity and insuring the benefit of end users.
It was recalled that after the failure of the international bid about two weeks ago the Corporation invited shortlisted international companies to submit their offer to supply of the sweet.
Sources said that about six prominent global companies in commodity supply; Al Khaleej Sugar, Wilmar Sugar, Agrocorp International, Sucden, and ED & F Man were invited to offer their price until March 21. The last two companies participated on the last failed bid.
However Capital was unable to get the list of finalists from the shortlisted companies, whom almost all submitted their offer, two companies have been included in the final stage.
According to ESC, it has concluded its evaluation and shared its result for the Ministry of Finance and Ministry Trade and Regional Integration to give their view on the process.
Weyo Roba, CEO of ESC, confirmed that the Corporation shared its conclusion for the two offices. He said that despite the ESC has a full mandate to decide on the procurement process, “we have shared the result for third parties for further clarity and to come at the same understanding about the process.”
He told Capital that the two ministries will evaluate the bid and will table it to the National Macro-Economic Committee for final consent.
“We decided to pass through this process for the sake of transparency and to see alternatives by higher level officials for the benefit of the country in general and to the end consumer in particular,” he added.
However experts argued that the long delayed process will affect the procurement process in this inflation hit world. They said that there is shortage of sufficient product in the country that makes it the corporation to sit on the bid.
Weyo responded to this saying that so far the country has ample sugar in storage. “Besides using the regular tender, the government will approach major producers for direct purchase for better price as an alternative, that is why we push the issue to higher government officials,” adding, “the consumer should not be harmed by inflated price that is observed in the global market.”
The country annually imports up to 350,000 metric tons of sugar to address the gap. ESC targeted to produce 413,000 metric tons in the current budget year.
ESC said that in the budget year the corporation planned to supply about 720,000 metric tons of sugar for consumption.
The sugar demand has been growing from time to time and it is estimated that the country’s annual sugar demand stands at 1.2 million metric tons. Thus the remaining gap is covered by other importers who have special permit from the government and those who have Franco-Valuta privileges.