Govt to consider controlled sugar exports after millers’ lobbying

Country's sugar production for the 2023-24 crushing season amounted to 6.752 million metric tonnes

The government is poised to approve a controlled sugar export policy following intensive lobbying by sugar mill owners, with a meeting planned post-Eid to deliberate on the strategy, according to sources.

The initial proposal allows for the export of 250,000 metric tonnes of sugar, significantly less than the one million metric tonnes sought by the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA).

Officials from the provincial food department reported that this decision comes in light of the PSMA’s request to the Ministers of Finance and Commerce, advocating for higher exports based on the surplus sugar production this year.

Official data reveals that the country’s sugar production for the 2023-24 crushing season amounted to 6.752 million metric tonnes, with an additional 0.823 million metric tonnes carried over from the previous season, totaling 7.575 million metric tonnes of available sugar.

As of March 31, 2024, 2.572 million metric tonnes have been sold, leaving a balance of 5.003 million metric tonnes.

Given the average monthly domestic consumption of 0.572 million metric tonnes, the current stock is sufficient to meet domestic needs for approximately eight months, until December 2024.

The government remains cautious, noting that with the crushing season typically beginning in the third week of November, the carryover stock for the next season is estimated to be between 0.8 to 0.9 million metric tonnes, contradicting the PSMA’s claim of a 1.5 million metric tonnes surplus.

The decision to export will be contingent on ensuring adequate domestic supplies and maintaining strategic reserves.

This careful approach mirrors actions taken by other governments, such as India, which has banned the export of certain food items to prevent shortages.

The Pakistani government has similarly restricted the export of onions and bananas until April 15 to stabilize local market prices, indicating a cautious stance towards sugar exports as well.

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Sugar crop and Sugar industry r grossly incopmetitive. Pakistan should consider deregulation of the sugar sector to promote competition and productivity.

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