Country has sufficient stock of sugar for two months: PSMA

ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has claimed that the country has sufficient stock of sugar, which will last for more than two months considering the average offtake of last eleven months. Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (Punjab Zone) appreciated governmental actions taken to curb smuggling and hoarding of sugar, repeatedly requested by the PSMA in different high level meetings with government, which eventually brought down artificial price hike and ensured preservation of sugar stocks for domestic needs. PSMA again placed some newly emerging issues relating to sugar sector in public domain for appropriate decisions of the government.
As per latest data of FBR, 1.13MMT sugar stocks as on 31-10-23 are still available with sugar mills which will last for more than two months considering our average offtake of last eleven months. Start of new crushing season with this stocks position has put the industry into a precarious situation. Storage capacity of many sugar mills is already occupied due to existing stocks. Continuation of stringent administrative measures to restrict interprovincial movement of sugar are not only disrupting supply chain but also causing shortages and price disparities in deficient sugar provinces. Non-clearance of previous liability of banks due to undisposed sugar stocks with high interest rates has added to cash flow crunch of sugar mills notwithstanding that banks have squeezed credit lines for growers’ payments after court decision of JS Bank case. Prices of sugar are already much lower than its higher cost of production due to increases in major cost components like prices of sugarcane, interest rates and imported chemicals. PSMA requested the government to save the industry by purchasing surplus stocks through Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to be kept as strategic reserves, a practice which was previously done regularly by past governments, to safeguard consumers interests and release whenever there is a price hike or the government may allow the industry to export second tranche of 2.5 lac MT of surplus sugar, as was agreed by the last government, after considering its necessity and merits, which will not only earn a sizeable foreign exchange for the country, keeping in view high international prices of sugar but will also smoothen farmers payments in next crushing season

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