In its program, the government of the Republic of Armenia gives priority to market liberalization and fight against economic monopolies. The final report of the government for the second half of last year, published in March, also contains a reference to the sugar market, noting that in 2018 the share of the largest company importing sugar was 78% compared with the previous 95%.
It should be reminded that the Fact Investigation Platform recently addressed the government report on the changes in the diesel fuel market last year and showed that there was no significant change in the market, to say the least.
Now let’s look at the sugar imports and see what has changed here compared to 2017.
Thus, we sent an inquiry to the State Revenue Committee asking for the names of sugar importers and import volumes in Armenia in 2017 and 2018 by months. And since the number of goods imported by a separate company is considered a tax secret, the SRC refused to provide detailed information about these companies.
Nevertheless, we managed to find out the names of all the sugar importing companies and import volumes in Armenia in 2017 and 2018.
About 97% of the 24,000 tons of sugar imported to Armenia in 2017 was imported by 11 companies.
|Name of Organization||Import Volumes (t)|
|1||“Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Armenia” CJSC||300,1||40,3|
|2||“Alex Holding” LLC||20880,6||13839|
|4||“Grand Candy” LLC||304,6||0|
|5||“ Nor Zovk” LLC||173,2||20|
|6||“MikMar” LLC Armenia||183||260|
|7||“ Vagan Elite” LLC||242,8||0|
|8||“Jermuk International Pepsi-Cola Bottler” LLC||660||875,9|
|9||“Yelena Stanislav Grigoryan” PE||149,5||0|
|10||“Garik Khachatryan” PE||211||0|
|11||“Arsen Mushegh Hambardzumyan” PE||206||0|
|13||“Alex and Holding” LLC||0||2002|
|14||“Gorhak Trade” LLC||0||230|
|15||“ArBe” Armenian-Belorussian Trade House LLC||4,3||607,3|
|16||Trade House “BelAr” CJSC||0||126|
|17||“Vil Food” LLC||0||746,2|
|18||“ArmenHamik Brothers” PE/LLC||0||3640|
|20||“Arsen Badalyan” PE||0||236,1|
As can be seen from the table, the largest importer of sugar in 2017 was Alex Holding, which had more than 86% share in the market, and if we add to it the affiliate company, Alex Grig, we will see that 87.5% of imports were accounted for by these companies.
As for the remaining 63 organizations, the shares of these companies are so small that they do not have a significant impact on the market
What changed in 2018?
Sugar was imported by 75 companies in 2018. In this respect, there is no significant change (for comparison, it should be noted that Nikol Pashinyan has recently announced that 75 business entities have entered the market within 10 months). Import volume made up more than 23 800 tons. The number of large-scale importers was again 11. These companies accounted for 97% of sugar imports to Armenia.
No change in the number of major importers has taken place, but the share of the largest importer “Alex Holding” LLC has decreased to 58%. However, taking into consideration the fact that “Alex and Holding” LLC, which is also an organization founded by “Alex Holding” LLC, imported sugar in 2018, it can be argued that “Alex Holding” occupied 66.5% of the import market.
Additionally, 44 out of 74 organizations in 2017 did not import sugar in 2018. The largest of these is perhaps Grand Candy Company.
And the largest among the organizations that have newly entered the market is “ArmenHamik Brothers” PE/LLC which started importing since June. Last year “ArBe” Armenian-Belorussian Trade House LLC significantly increased the volume of imports (by 150 times).
Among the importing companies there are also those whose annual import volume is 0.3 kg. For example, “Yerevan Brandy Factory” CJSC.
Analyzing the 2017 and 2018 data, one can conclude that the share of leading sugar importing company in the market in 2017 was not 95%, as it was mentioned in the report, but 87.5%, which dropped to 66.5% in 2018.
As for the number of importing companies, over 70 companies have been engaged in sugar imports over the past two years, but most of them either did not enter the market or their share in the market is so small that they cannot even be considered as market players.
In conclusion, despite the fact that the figures mentioned in the government report do not correspond to reality, and there is no change in the number of importers, the share of the company occupying a dominant position in the market has really dropped.