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KARACHI: Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) vice president Ahmad Jawad has supported the stance of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) to allow export of surplus sugar and further government would promote free economy of the sugar business in Pakistan.

He said government itself should not indulge in setting the prices of sugarcane and sugar.

It will leave the pricing to decide on market mechanism but the government shall maintain strategic reserve stocks and intervene market at appropriate time to supplement the market and to keep the prices at a reasonable level; however at the same time sugar millers may released the payment to farmers timely with no extra deduction of the cane at the mills gate including timely issuance of permits in a transparent way.

As Ministry of food Security has recently released the statistics of total sugar production in the country, according to which, 7,905,564 metric tonne sugar was produced during 2021-22.

The ministry’s data showed that at least 51,706 metric tonne of sugar stock was available from the previous season while 70,000 tonne sugar, produced from beetroot was 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.

According to the data, at least 5,316,473 metric tonne sugar had been taken from the stocks or consumed till September 30, 2022. While, the country’s daily sugar consumption stood at approximate 15,980 tonnes. The ministry’s data proved that at least 1,736,017 metric tonne surplus sugar would be available at the start of next crushing season in November this year.

Jawad mentioned that recent rains proved beneficial for sugarcane crop which increased its yield capacity. This means that in next season, sugar would be produced in surplus quantity.

Though sugar industry had for the last seven months been demanding export of surplus sugar, citing that sugar price in the international market had dropped from US $ 560 per tonne to $528.7 per tonne till date and it would further decrease to US $ 427 per tonne in February-March which would cause colossal loss to national exchequer in terms of exports revenue, if an early decision was not taken regarding export of surplus sugar.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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