The Edge – Sugar refinery CEO says he is ‘against monopoly’

SUGAR refining used to be a sweet business to be in. But it may turn bitter in the coming years if Putrajaya continues its liberalisation push to allow more sugar imports into the country.

For the two local refiners — public-listed MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd and its unlisted competitor, Central Sugars Refinery Sdn Bhd (CSR) — liberalisation means more competition, which pressures selling prices and may eventually shrink profit margins.

In theory, opening up the sector to more players so that they may import sugar directly for sale may lead to lower sugar costs, particularly for bulk purchasers such as food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers.