The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) is seeking guidelines from the ministry of commerce for procuring 30,000 tons of white powdered sugar for Tajikistan, as bids quoted prices higher than the already agreed price between the two countries.
Sources told Business Recorder on Tuesday that TCP was facing difficulties procuring the sugar after domestic mills offered to supply powdered sugar at a minimum price of Rs 63,400 per ton (which works out to $653 per ton) against officially agreed price of $528 a ton.
On August 14 last year, Pakistan and Tajikistan struck a sugar export deal in the presence of Nurmahmad Akhmedov, the Chairman of Tajikistan”s Agency on State Material Reserves and Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim. During the meeting, it was also decided that the sugar would be exported via -TCP at a discounted rate to facilitate Tajikistan.
As per initial discussions, Pakistan had agreed to supply 30,000 tons of sugar to Tajikistan at a price $20 lower than international market rates. The estimated export rate was worked out at $528 per ton as on the day of the dialogue when the sugar price in the world market was $548 per ton. Later, Tajikistan demanded white powdered sugar, which was not available with the TCP. Therefore, TCP floated a tender for procuring the same. On December 3 last year, TCP invited bids from sugar mills for the supply of 30,000 tons of ”White Powdered Sugar” in bags.
In response, seven sugar mills submitted bids. Of the seven bids, six bids were found responsive; while one bid was found non-responsive, as 2 percent bid money was not submitted by the bidder. Responsive bidders” offers ranged between Rs 63,400 and Rs 80,650 per metric ton. Among responsive bidders, the lowest bid was received from unit 3 of JWD sugar mill, which offered to supply 5,000 tons of white powdered sugar at Rs 63,400 per ton. The highest bid was submitted by Sanghar Sugar Mill: it offered to provide 5,000 tons of white powdered sugar at Rs 80,650 per ton.
Thal Industries” Laiya unit submitted bid for a quantity of 5,000 tons with quoted price of Rs 6,800 per metric ton and Ittihad Sugar Mill Rs 70,000 per metric ton for a quantity of 5,000 tons. In addition, Chashma Sugar Mill has offered to supply 5,000 tons of sugar at Rs 77,880 per ton and Rani Sugar Mill some 5,000 quantity at Rs 80,500 per ton. All six mills have declared responsive as these mills have submitted 2 percent of bid money as per tender term and conditions.
Although, Sheikho Sugar mill”s bid offer was lowest among all seven bidders, but it was declared non-responsive by TCP on technical basis after it did not submit bid money as per tender requirement. Sheikho Sugar Mill offered to supply 15,000 tons of white powdered sugar at Rs 55,000 tons per ton.
TCP is learnt to have forwarded details of sugar tender to the commerce ministry and requested final approval for the procurement. In addition, TCP is also seeking permission for price matching formula as lowest bid is only for a quantity of 5,000 tons against the required quantity of 30,000 tons, officials said. They said that all bids were valid till January 10 this year and the ministry should decide before this date, otherwise sugar export to Tajikistan will be delayed.