The domestic sugar output is likely to surge past five million tons with the start of the new crushing season this year (2012-2013), about 5 percent higher than the previous year’s 4.75 million tons,Business Recorder learnt on good authority on Wednesday. An office-bearer of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association said that sugar production was expected to increase because of better sugarcane crop this year.
Pakistan is the sixth largest sugar producer in the world. Its 86 sugar mills have a combined annual production capacity of 7 million tons. Full capacity utilisation would require a supply of 80 million tons of sugarcane. Industry sources said that the current annual domestic sugar consumption had crossed four-million-ton mark. Mllers expect a better yield of sugarcane crop because of adequate water availability this year, adding that ample supplies would further depress sugar prices in local markets. Sugar production in 2011-2012 stood at 4.75 million tons: Sindh produced 1.3 million tons; Punjab 3.1 million tons while Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa produced 350,000 tons of sugar.
There was no need for sugar import during 2010-2011 because of ample production and adequate sugar stocks. Millers, in the meantime, urged the government to allow them to export 400,000 tons of extra sugar. According to them, the country had a sufficient stock of sugar to meet domestic needs for the next couple of months, while the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) was also maintaining a strategic stock for emergency needs. They said that millers have to repay their loans, besides making outstanding payments to growers before the start of the new crushing season. They said that the new crushing season was scheduled to commence by the start of November this year.