Growers seek export of surplus sugar ahead of crushing season
The government must allow export of surplus sugar before the commencement of next crushing season to enable the mill owners to clear the dues of farmers as well as purchase sugarcane at a reasonable price, said officials and growers’ representative.
The mills would not need to purchase sugarcane from the growers in the next season if the export of additional sugar was not allowed by the government, Chairman Agri Forum Pakistan Ibrahim Mughal told Business Recorder.
Mughal said currently the country had sufficient stock of sugar while per month domestic consumption of the commodity was 0.3 million tons. The government needed to allow export of surplus sweetener to enable the industry to purchase sugarcane from growers during the next season, he added. He said timely export of sugar would not only benefit millers but also help the growers in the next season.
A senior official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research also said if the government failed to allow export of surplus sugar, the decision would not only harm mill owners but also badly affect the sugarcane growers. “The unnecessary delay in export of sugar would also lower the price of sugarcane and any decline in prices will result in loss to farmers,” he said.
He said around 1.2 million tons of sugar would be carried forward from 2012-13 to 2013-14 and an estimated 5.4 million tons of sugar production was expected in 2013-14; annual domestic consumption was estimated at 4.4 million tons.
As many as 1.8 million tons of sugar would be surplus in 2013-14, which should be exported, he added. The official said that presently Punjab had sugar stocks of 1.1 million tons, Sindh 0.4 million tons and KP 0.1 tons. In 2012-13, the total production of sugar in Punjab stood at 3.2 million tons, Sindh 1.531 million tons and KP 0.342 million tons, he concluded.
Courtesy The Nation