(Business in Cameroon) - Accused by distributors and other conglomerates (producers of sugar cubes) of not being able to meet the market demand, due to an insufficient production, Société Sucrière du Cameroun (Sosucam – Cameroon Sugar Company) claims, in an official press release, to have in its warehouses in Mbandjock, Nkoteng, Ngaoundéré and Yaoundé, stocks estimated at “over 32,000 tons of sugar”. According to the Cameroonian subsidiary of the Somdiaa group, these stocks are sufficient to enable “an optimal supply to the national markets over the current period and in the run up to the Ramadan fast”.
This information was already revealed on 7 March 2017 in Yaoundé by the CEO of Sosucam, Louis Yinda, during a meeting at the Ministry of Commerce. However, the CEO of Sosucam was not then able to explain to participants the reasons for which, in spite of the availability of important cargoes of sugar in its warehouses, the leader in the local market was not able to meet the purchase orders submitted by distributors and company conglomerates in the country.
Additionally, questioned by Minister Mbarga Atangana on Sosucam’s capacity to meet supply the local market during the Ramadan fast, which covers the month of June, Louis Yinda clearly indicated that to reach this objective, Sosucam would need an import approval from the government. The wording of this communiqué just published by Sosucam even seems to agree with that, as it is subtly specified that current stocks can ensure supplies “over the current period and in the run up to the Ramadan fast”; and not during the Ramadan fast itself, a period characterized by a sharp increase in the consumption from sugar.
Moreover, based on Sosucam’s own statistics, deliveries of sugar to consumers oscillate between 13,000 and 14,000 tons on average per month. Coupled with “the difficult and harsh dry season”, which negatively impacts the “ongoing production” in the two plants of Sosucam (Mbandjock with a capacity of 43,000 tons per year, against 77,000 tons in capacity for the Nkoteng plant), this sales rate would lead to think that current stocks (32,000 tons) will not enable Sosucam to supply the market beyond May 2017, month also corresponding to the end of the sugar crop season in Cameroon.