Pakistan’s sugar export during FY23 stood at 215,751 tonnes fetching USD 104 million against nil exports in FY22….reports Asian Lite News
The Pakistan government has chosen to import 1 million metric tonnes of sugar to replenish the country’s reduced supply after being deceived by sugar mill owners about a “sufficient” domestic stock, Geo News reported.
The federal government will import sugar at an inflated price of PKR 220 per kilogram, and the burden will be passed on to the population, which is already suffering from inflation and will be forced to pay exorbitant prices, the Geo News said.
The current situation is a result of sugar mill owners misleading the government, securing permission for export by reassuring that the country has ‘sufficient’ stock for domestic use. This has led to the hazardous scenario that exists today, as reported by Geo News.
Even though the Punjab Food Department has a carryover surplus stock of sugar of almost 1 million metric tonnes, a spokeswoman for the department has warned of a potential sugar crisis in the coming days.
The only option left with the authorities is to use the surplus stock to mitigate the problem. However, doing so will eventually result in imported sugar being sold on the market, forcing consumers to pay PKR 220 per kg for sugar rather than the official amount of PKR 100 per kg.
The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), according to sources cited by Geo News, has already written to Pakistan’s commercial attaché in Brazil to establish arrangements for the import of 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar from the South American country.
Pakistan’s sugar export during FY23 stood at 215,751 tonnes fetching USD 104 million against nil exports in FY22. Exports during July were 5,542 tonnes earning USD 3.4 million as compared to zero exports during July 2022.
The Pakistan government allowed the export of 250,000 tonnes of sugar in January based on the undertaking by the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) that the rates would not rise above Rs 85-90 per kg (ex-mill) for FY22 stocks.
Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association (KWGA) chairman Rauf Ibrahim demanded that the caretaker government clarify when its writ would be followed to the letter as wholesale sugar prices have risen by Rs 21 per kg since August 1, as per Dawn.
He said no efforts are being made to check the stocks of the sugar mills and hoardings by the investors and speculators.
“The Supreme Court should take a suo Moto notice on soaring food items prices like sugar, wheat and rice and their hoardings,” he added.
Rauf said the government is also losing revenue due to the rampant smuggling of sweeteners to Afghanistan. (ANI)