Overview of our activities
In line with the objectives laid out in Section 4 of the State Trading Corporation Act of 1982, STC undertakes the sourcing and importation of selected essential strategic commodities including Petroleum Products, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Long Grain White Rice and Wheat Flour to cater for the needs of the domestic market.
STC is responsible for the importation of all petroleum products to meet demand in the country. The procurement comprises seven grades of products, namely MOGAS 95 RON, GAS OIL 50 ppm Sulphur, GAS OIL 2,500 ppm Suphur (Marine Gas Oil), JET A1, FUEL OIL 180 CST Catalytic Cracked, FUEL OIL 180 CST Straight Run and FUEL OIL 380 CST Straight Run. The total annual requirements are around 1.2 million metric tons. The demand growth is estimated at about 3 % per year. MOGAS (Essence) and GAS OIL 50 PPM (Diesel) for running of public transport, private motor vehicles and commercial activities mainly. FUEL OILS are supplied to the Central Electricity Board for operating thermal power plants to generate electricity, as well as to local companies for industrial activities. Fuel Oils are also used as Marine bunker fuels. GAS OIL 2500 PPM is used for Marine Bunker purpose. JET A1 is imported essentially for refueling aircrafts at the SSR International Airport.
Emergence of a Petroleum Hub
As from 1 January 2014, Government has partially liberalized the importation of bunker fuels with the aim to grow the bunkering business. From that date, private companies are allowed to import bunker fuels on their own, subject to conditions set out in the new Regulations. A number of incentives have also been given to the sector. At present, the total volume of bunker fuels is around 300,000 tons imported annually which comprises roughly equal amounts of Fuel Oil 380 CST, Fuel Oil 180 CST and Marine Grade Diesel/Gas Oil. The Vision of Government is to develop Mauritius as a petroleum and bunkering port which will be a new pillar of the economy. The target is to boost the total annual volume of bunker fuels to 1 million tons. The benefits to the country will include larger trade volumes, creation of direct/indirect employment and a multiplier effect on the wider economy/GDP growth. With the promulgation of the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2016, STC has been called upon by Government to play a prominent role in the promotion and development of bunkering activities.
In 2002, the Government decided that there should be public intervention in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) market. The Corporation was instructed by the government to take over the country’s total requirements of 47,000 Mt from the existing importers as from 2003. LPG is utilized by about 98% of households as a source of energy for cooking and water-heating.
Rice and Flour
The State Trading Corporation’s first mission at its creation in 1983 was to take over all the activities of the former Department of Supplies which was principally responsible for the purchase, importation, storage, sale and marketing of the country’s staple commodities namely rice and flour.
Today STC imports basic Long Grain White Rice (Ration Rice), polished white rice with maximum 5 % broken kernels.
The retail price of Long Grain White Rice is fixed by the Government at Rs 5.40 per ½ kg and has remained unchanged since 2008.
The organization also has its footprint in the basmati market which is driven by private traders. STC imports the right quality of basmati in conformity with relevant quality standards adapted to the taste of consumers which it markets at affordable prices in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega.
In doing so, STC contributes to mitigate the problem of adulteration in basmati rice and also indirectly acts as a price regulator on the basmati market.
STC also ensures the market supply of all our requirements in Wheat Flour throughout the year through both imports and procurement from the local miller. About 80% of the flour is absorbed by bakeries and the rest is for household use. All the flour is sold at a subsidized retail price maintained at Rs. 5.85 per ½ kg fixed since December 2008. However, since last budget held in June 2017, the Government decreased the price to Rs. 4.85 per ½ kg for White Wheat Flour and Rs. 4 per ½ kg for Brown Bread Flour. STC thus executes Government policy aimed at keeping the market fully supplied in those two basic staple foods within reach of the whole population at low prices.
Lafarge (Mtius) Cement Ltd (ex-Mauritius Portland Cement Co MPCC Ltd, had the monopoly to import and distribute Portland Cement in the country since 1957. The Government felt that it would be in the interest of the country to have more than one importer and in 1984 STC was entrusted with the responsibility of importing 25% of the country’s requirements. From 1985 onwards STC’s share of imports was increased to 50%. Eventually, during the year 2004 and 2005, STC’s share of imports was reduced to 25% (representing around 150,000 Mtons). For the year 2006, STC’s share was increased to around 33%- representing some 200,000 Mtons. In 2000, Holcim (Mtius) Ltd (ex-Cement de l'Océan Indien COIL Ltd), installed its own cement terminal in Port-Louis. Currently Holcim (Mtius) Ltd is sharing the market with Lafarge (Mtius) Cement Ltd. The cement imported by STC was sold in bulk to Lafarge (Mtius) Cement Ltd and Holcim (Mtius) Ltd and these two companies were responsible for marketing and distribution of the product. As from 1 July 2011, the importation and selling price of cement has been liberalised. The STC is therefore no more importing cement, but is on standby and ready to intervene in the market, if required by Government.
Quality Assurance & Certification
Quality tests are carried out by Independent Accredited International Surveyors at loading / discharge ports for all products imported by STC.