NEW DELHI: Pakistan will allow exports of 200,000 tonnes of sugar on top of the 300,000 tonnes already permitted, a producers’ body said, as it looks to trim surplus stocks and bolster domestic prices.
“There was a request to allow (extra) exports of 400,000 tonnes but the cabinet gave its permission for 200,000 tonnes,” Shunaid Qureshi, chairman of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, told Reuters by telephone.
Pakistan’s sugar output in the crop year starting Oct1 is likely to remain steady at last year’s level of around 4.7 million tonnes, Qureshi said.
The country’s sugar consumption is pegged at around 4-4.2 million tonnes, and it started the 2012/13 year with around 400,000 tonnes of stock, said a dealer in Karachi who declined to be named.
Most sugar so far exported from the nation has gone to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and east African countries.
“These countries will again show interest due to lower prices. Millers in Pakistan want cash to start the crushing season ... They can give discounts to world prices,” the dealer said.
Traders from neighouring India were also showing interest in the sugar as prices there are much higher than in Pakistan, said another Karachi-based dealer.
“Pakistani mills can offer sugar to India at $540 to $550 per tonnne ... compared with Indian prices of $680,” he said.
On Wednesday, December white sugar in London inched down $1.50, or 0.3 per cent, to end at $591.10 per tonne.
Najib Balagawala, chief executive of Pakistan-based SeaTrade
group, had said the government was likely to give permission to cash-strapped mills to export at least an extra 300,000 tonnes of sugar.