Sugar is once again a scarce commodity in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Agricultural Input Warehouse, importers of brown and granulated (white) sugar obtained a shipment from Belize towards the end of last month, but that was far from adequate to meet the demand.
Supervisor of the sugar department, at the Agricultural Input Warehouse, Samuel Bruce told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, September 7 that a shipment of 2000 bags of brown sugar arrived from Belize on August 29. Each bag contained 25 kg (55 pounds).
All that sugar was sold within one week of arrival.
And now, white sugar, which had also gone scarce before the consignment of brown sugar arrived, is also not available in just about every shop and supermarket.
Bruce said they are unsure when the next shipment of sugar will arrive.
On August 24, during his weekly appearance on NBC Radio prime minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves explained that the country’s regular supplier, Guyana Sugar Corporation was unable to provide its regular shipments until late November; therefore an approach was made to Belize to help fill the breach. However, the cost would be higher.
The recent shipment of brown sugar was retailing at $2.05 per pound.
Some supermarkets with whom SEARCHLIGHT spoke on Wednesday said they had no sugar at all. They said the supply received was insufficient and they have since run out of the commodity which is regularly used by thousands of households and in some manufacturing businesses across the state.
A lone supermarket noted, however, that they still had a small quantity of brown sugar and were selling to customers at the cash desk in two pound and five pound packets.
Vendor, Cheryl Thomas shared that she has been experiencing problems due to the shortage of brown sugar.
She figures that because some individuals purchase large amounts, this makes it difficult for other people to get even a limited supply.
She therefore agrees with supermarkets that had been selling in small amounts saying that this will allow others to get at least two pounds of the commodity given that the entire population is affected.
While some supermarkets were able to offer limited quantities to customers, some supermarkets have said they were unable to get any sugar from the recent shipment.
Brown sugar had been absent from supermarket shelves for about two months before the shipment from Belize arrived late last month.