Pakistan Has Surplus Sugar But No Decision Yet on Export

Pakistan’s sugar industry has yet another robust year with surplus sweetener estimated at 1.8 million tons, but there has not been any decision yet on exporting the surplus. Pakistan is a significant exporter of sugar in Asia and the South Asia’s biggest economy has seen production rising in two years in a row.

A meeting held in Islamabad this week was informed by the sugar industry officials that sugar production per million tons has posted 125% percent increase in 2016-17 when compared to 2009-10.

The sugarcane production this year showed 12.4% rise with 73.6 million tons. Production rose to 65.5 million tons in 2016. Out of this production, experts estimate that the country could have an estimated 1.8 million tons of refined sugar in surplus.

Pakistan consumes only about 4.5 million tons a year, but financial problems faced by the industry have sapped its ability to export the sweetener and the government has in the past supported the industry by providing export subsidies.

Sugar industry officials are pushing for permission to export the sugar to help raises finances. They say if the surplus sugar is not disposed of, they will not be able to make payment to sugarcane growers. They also say that it is impossible for the industry to make shipment without subsidy in the backdrop of current world commodity prices.

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