The State Trading Corporation (STC) was established under the State Trading Corporation Act 1982, in replacement of the Department of Supplies.
STC took over the activities of the former Department of Supplies. As the trading arm of the Government of Mauritius, it operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection.
The Government decided that STC should import the total requirements of Petroleum Products
In May 1989, the Local Flour Mill “Les Moulins de la Concorde Ltee” (LMLC) started operations. Since then, Government decided that procurement of flour by STC should be through annual tenders for only 50 % of the total requirements, in which LMLC is also invited. The remaining 50% of the total requirements is guaranteed to LMLC provided that it aligns its prices with the lowest obtained in the tender exercise. In the event that LMLC’s offer is the most competitive, it is awarded the contract for the total requirement (100%).
Invasion of Kuwait
In 1990, following the invasion of Kuwait, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) could not supply petroleum products and STC successfully managed its procurement from Shell and other Suppliers.
Basmati rice and Thai fragrant rice
The rice purchase mission, for the first time, contracted for supplies of Basmati rice and Thai fragrant rice. STC installed its own packing plant and sold the luxury rice through the existing marketing system. It also distributed directly to retailers island wise in packets using its own fleet of vehicles. Following this activity, the consumption of luxury rice went up to over 10,000 metric tons annually. Consequently, the consumption of ration rice which was about 72,000 metric tons annually, started to go down thus decreasing the amount of subsidy.
In 1990, the STC entered the fresh fruits market by importing fresh grapes from India. The prices of grapes fell significantly on the local market.
STC also imported some fresh fruits from Australia in order to make the fruits available at affordable and stable prices, to minimize shortages and bring more competition in the importation of fresh fruits.
Safety Helmets for Motorcyclists
In the beginning of 1992, Government legislated for compulsory use of safety helmets by motorcyclists. Consequently, there was a surge in price of that equipment on the local market and STC intervened by importing various types of safety helmets which were sold at reasonable prices.
Prior to 2001, several burn cases with some even leading to death were reported. These casualties were caused by the use of kerosene cookers commonly used to be known in Mauritius as “La lampe verte and Primus”.
The Government went further in it endeavour as a public servant by commercializing Liquefied Petroleum Products (LPG) at a subsidized price through STC so that this strategic product can be made accessible to each and every Mauritian indiscriminately.
Importation of Citronella & Neem to combat Chikungunya
In 2006, upon the instruction of the then Minister of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprise, Commerce and Cooperatives, STC imported mosquito repellent products namely citronella and neem oil in bulk. These products were bottled by STC staff and then distributed in phials to the public at very low prices.
These products were imported in view of participating in the national campaign aimed towards eradicating the propagation of Chikungunya virus in the country.
Penetration in the Basmati Market
The era of the persistent price increase in basmati rice in 2013 raised great concern about high price of branded basmati and adulteration in the rice. In early 2014, the STC penetrated the local free market by supplying two varieties of basmati rice which were carefully developed to adapt to the taste of Mauritians and at affordable prices, thus allowing the population to benefit.
STC has even strengthened its market presence in the outer region as well by supplying basmati rice in Agalega and Rodrigues.
Packing and Distribution of subsidized Long Grain White Rice and Flour
Despite that Long Grain White Rice and Flour are subsidized products, consumers were paying excessive prices and these two staples were not available everywhere. In 2017, STC embarked on a project to make retailers comply with the regulated retail prices and redesigned the distribution model for a wider distribution of the rice and flour so as to relieve the burden on consumers, especially those in the most vulnerable groups.
Promotion of Brown Bread Flour
In view of the alarming proportion of Mauritians suffering from diabetes and other non- communicable diseases, STC took the initiative to contribute in improving the health of Mauritians by creating awareness on the benefits of Brown Bread Flour and making it available across Mauritius at a much affordable retail price regulated by the Government.