KARACHI - The sugar mills have reduced the unofficial price of sugarcane from Rs120 per 40kg to Rs105/kg40 in Sindh, farmers told The Nation. Earlier, the sugar mills particularly in lower parts of the Sindh province were buying the commodity at much higher rates of Rs120/40kg against officially fixed support price of Rs81/40kg of sugarcane. According to information gathered from growers, during initial period of crushing of sugarcane in Sindh in November 2008, the mills had started buying commodity on Rs85/40kg from the growers. But when crushing season got momentum, the mills also increased purchasing of crop form growers with higher prices than the support prices. Ghulam Nabi Morai President Sindh Farmers Association while talking to The Nation confirmed that mills were paying around Rs120/40kg to growers till first week in lower Sindh as mills facing shortfall in crushing of commodity. He said the farmers cultivated less crop of sugarcane in current season over last year because they had not received due returns of their production of sugarcane. The farmers suffered huge losses as first crushing season was not started on time in October while mills not paid arrears of last year ye which compelled the farmers to less cultivation of sugarcane crop this year, he maintained. The less production of crop resulted competition of more purchase of commodity among the mills and prices reached to Rs120/40kg , he said, adding, but, the sugar mills in joint meeting has reduced the commodity prices. Wajid Arain President Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Sindh told The Nation that some mills were buying sugarcane at the price of Rs12040kg but farmers have reduced the supply of commodity to mills in opportunity to get more prices. The less supply of crop was causing huge losses to the mills, he said adding because of expenditure of furnace oil, gas and other inputs for restarting of the mills. He informed that ex-mill rate of sugar was Rs37/40kg in Sindh while with comparison to present price of Rs105/40kg, the sugar price should be at Rs42-per kg. Meanwhile, Cane Commissioner Sindh Nazeer Jamali told The Nation the average price of sugarcane buying by mills at Rs110/40kg in all over Sindh. Besides four sugar mills including Matyari, Sanghar, Faran, NawabShah, Ghotki, other all the sugar mills are defaulter and these owed to pay around one billion rupees to farmers in terms of last year arrears. Meanwhile, according to official statistics available with The Nation, at least 0.384 million tons sugar has been produced from 4.502 million tons crushed by all the 28 sugar mills of Sindh, so far.