LAHORE - The sugar mills have failed to export the whole quota of 250,000 tons of sugar permitted by the Federal government in the stipulated period of almost one month from May to June, as 110,000 tons of sugar is still lying in warehouses meant for export .
Pakistan Sugar Mill Association Punjab Chairman Riaz Qadeer Butt has asked the government to allow the remaining stock of sugar for export as the mills could only manage to export around 140,000 tons sugar due to short time , which was expired on June 12 last.
He said that country earned around $700,000 in a month by exporting limited stock of sugar and if more export is allowed the more foreign exchange will bring in. He said that Pakistan is the most competitive sugar market as it is exporting sweetener at the cheapest rate of $450 per ton but it is unfortunate that government has imposed ban to export further stock. “Presently we need not any subsidy to export our commodity as our demand is very high all over the world including UAE, Afghanistan and South Africa.” He asked the government to announce a complete and permanent mechanism for sugar export by fixing a limit. “Whenever the sugar production surpasses a particular limit, necessary for local needs, the sugar mills should export surplus stock without waiting for permission of government,” Riaz Qadeer Butt suggested. He said that the long-term policies and permanent mechanism for sugar export will allow the millers to enhance their expertise and endeavour for foreign market, besides producing surplus sugar to earn precious foreign exchange,” Butt stated. He blamed the authorities for inconsistent policies, which confused the millers as well as the exporters to decide production target and export strategies. He suggested the authorities to keep strategic reserves to ensure stability in prices, particularly during Ramazan.
We have been producing surplus sugar for the last three-four years and our prices are stable at the same level, vindicating us from charges of cartelisation. Sugar industry is the most regulated industry in the country. The prices of our input our product are determined and regulated by the government, while the price of sugar remains at the mercy of the market.
“We cannot refuse to shut down our plants until we have crushed the last stick of cane even if we are losing money.” PSMA Punjab Chairman toned down rising trend of sugar prices in the market. He said there was about Rs1-2 per kg fluctuation of sugar price in the market, which is considered a normal routine. He said that sugar was not a controlled item like wheat and flour, adding it was up to the market to determine the price of commodity.