LAHORE: The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has reiterated its demand that the government should immediately allow export of surplus sugar as according to the figures released by the Ministry of Food Security hinted that sugar stocks at the start of next crushing season would stand at around 1,736,017 metric tonnes.
The appeal was made at the general body meeting of the Association held to discuss the figures released by the Ministry which claimed that total sugar production in the country stood at 7,905,564 metric tonnes during 2021-22, said a spokesman of the Association on Wednesday.
The ministry’s data showed that at least 51,706 metric tonnes of sugar stock was available from the previous season while 70,000 tonnes sugar, produced from beetroot, was also available till the start of last season. This showed that the total sugar available from previous season and at the end of last season was 8,027,270 tonnes.
The ministry’s data showed that at least 5,316,473 metric tonnes sugar has been withdrawn from the stocks or consumed till September 30, 2022.
This showed that the daily sugar consumption stands at approximate 15,980 tonnes. The ministry’s data proves that at least 1,736,017 metric tonnes sugar will be available at the start of next crushing season in November this year.
Foreign exchange to the tune of $ 1 billion can be earned if this excess sugar is exported.
Moreover, another $1 billion can be earned due to excess sugar production from next season, the PSMA General Body observed.
After the gap of at least seven months, a meeting of Sugar Advisory Board has been convened on October 6. Such meetings of Sugar Advisory Board were regularly conducted approximately every month but such a long gap was never made.
The meeting further said recent rains have proved beneficial for the overall health of sugarcane crop which can increase its yield capacity.
This showed that in next season, sugar will be produced in surplus quantity. For the last 7-8 months, sugar industry is demanding the government to export this surplus sugar because at that time the rate of sugar in the international market stood at $ 560 per tonne but due to government’s indifference and non-acceptance of demand, it dropped to $ 528.70 per tonne till date.
This incurred loss to the national exchequer to the tune of $ 31,300,000. The international rate of sugar will further drop to $427 per tonne in February-March which will cause loss of $ 68,000,000 in case this excess sugar is not exported.
If the government still does not pay attention to this vital matter then Pakistan will lose precious foreign exchange.
Calculating the estimates of previous and next year’s season, at least 3,561,697 tonnes excess sugar will be produced so the government should export this surplus sugar to earn foreign exchange.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022