Pakistan delays decision on sugar export

Islamabad: The Sugar Advisory Board (SAB) convened on Thursday to deliberate on the issue of refined sugar export, but failed to reach a decision. It was agreed that further discussions would take place after the Eid ul Fitr holidays, reported Brecoder.

Chaired by Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain, the board meeting was attended by various stakeholders, including representatives from the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA). The agenda included reviewing sugar stock availability, current market prices, sugarcane rates, global sugar prices, and industry production costs.

During the meeting, PSMA representatives apprised government officials that Pakistan currently possesses around 1.6 million tons of excess sugar, which they proposed should be exported. The PSMA suggested exporting one million tons of refined sugar initially, estimating it would generate approximately $650-700 million in foreign exchange. They proposed exporting the remaining 0.6 million tons in two phases in May and June 2024.

PSMA officials warned that failure to permit sugar export could lead to smuggling to neighbouring countries like Iran and Afghanistan, depriving Pakistan of valuable foreign exchange while enabling smugglers to exploit the situation.

They further explained that the local production price of sugar is approximately $503 per tonne, whereas the international market price is $650 per tonne, indicating mutual benefits for the industry and the country through export permission.

Additionally, it was noted that 85% of sugar in Pakistan is utilised for industrial purposes, with the remaining 15% for domestic use. Moreover, an 18% general sales tax (GST) is imposed on sugar domestically.


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