ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan may import up to 400,000 tonnes of refined sugar next year to bolster reserves despite expectations of a bumper crop, officials of the Ministry of Industries said on Wednesday. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), the highest economic decision-making body, is expected to discuss the stock position and prospects for the next crop in a meeting on Thursday, the officials said. "We have recommended to the ECC to make arrangements for importing 400,000 tonnes of refined sugar next year to maintain strategic reserves," one official said on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to media. "It is now up to the committee to decide whether we need to import and when." The government usually maintains reserves for supply to utility stores to support low-income groups in case of a price rise. Pakistan is expecting a bumper crop of up to 4.5 million tonnes from the 2011/12 crop despite losses to the sugarcane crop by floods in the country's south. Traders and officials said last month there was no need to import sugar. Output from the current crop is expected to start reaching stores by the end of November. "Though we are not expecting any shortages, reserves can help counter any manipulation by hoarders," another official said. If decided, Pakistan would likely import the sweetener well ahead of the Ramazan, expected in the last week of July 2012, he said. Total stocks with the govt and mills stood at 1.2m tonnes on Oct. 5, including more than 196,000 tonnes of imported sugar. Pakistan imported about 1.2 million tonnes of sugar last year after production fell to 3.1m tonnes from the 2009/10 crop. , when many farmers switched to more profitable crops such as cotton. The annual consumption is about 4.2 million tonnes. Pakistan produced 4.1 million tonnes of refined sugar in 2010/11 despite devastating floods in 2010.