Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Coca-Cola Mozambique has increased the prices of its soft drinks by between 25 and 33 per cent, using the recent depreciation of the national currency, the metical, as its excuse.The recommended price for a 300 millilitre bottle of Coca-Cola rises from 12 to 15 meticais (from 30 to 37.5 US cents – a rise of 25 per cent). The rise for a slightly larger bottle, of 350 millilitres, is even steeper, from 15 to 20 meticais.Oddly enough, the company has decided not to increase the price of a two litre bottle of coke, which remains 65 meticais, and the standard 330 millilitre can of coke still sells for 25 meticais.The Coca-Cola director of Public Relations, Francisco Ferrao, blamed the price rises on the recent slide in the value of the metical. Speaking to the independent televisions station STV, he claimed that the depreciation of the metical had a significant impact on the price paid in foreign currency for the import of condensate and sugar used in the company’s sweet drinks.But Mozambique is a net sugar exporter – so why is Coca-Cola importing sugar? This matter was discussed at a seminar held in July in the southern Mozambican sugar town of Xinavane, where the soft drinks companies claimed they could not use Mozambican sugar because most of it is not refined. 
Of the over 400,000 tonnes of sugar produced in Mozambique in 2014, only 10,000 tonnes was refined.Coca-Cola promised to bring experts to Mozambique to identify the requirements needed to bring the sugar produced at Mozambican mills up to the standards demanded by Coca-Cola.
 Had Coca-Cola worked with the Mozambican sugar industry in the past, this problem could have been overcome years ago. Instead, the company has opted for importing the sugar it needs.Ferrao also argued that the last price increase for the small bottles of soft drinks was four year ago, and a comparison between the metical/dollar exchange rate of 2011 and today would show the need for a price rise.As for the habitual price gouging of the many establishments who sell soft drinks at above the recommended retail price, Ferrao said it was up to the government’s Inspectorate of Economic Activities to ensure that the recommended prices are respected.

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