Sugarcane growers are still to be paid Rs 11 billion for the commodity bought last year ahead of the fast approaching crushing season this year, sources told Business Recorder on Wednesday. Although members of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) claimed that at least 90 percent of payables amounting to Rs 235 billion had so far been cleared, growers were still waiting for the rest of the payment owed by PSMA.
Meanwhile, sugar millers praised the government’s decision to allow them to export 300,000 tons of sugar. They said that the government should also allow export of another 100,000 tons, adding that it would earn the country another $50 million. Sources said that the country earned more than $200 million against the export of 300,000 tons of sugar during the previous crushing season ended in April this year.
Industry sources, however, criticised the government for its late decision to export surplus sugar stock. They said that the government had decided to allow export 200,000 when sugar from other countries such as Brazil arrived in international markets. “If the government had allowed exports earlier, the country could have earned more foreign exchange,” they added.
Industry sources said that most sugar was exported to countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. PSMA sources said that even after exporting 300,000 tons of sugar, the country still had a buffer stock of 500,000 tons of the sweetener. Detailing final statistics regarding sugar production in 2012, President of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (Sindh Zone) Deomal Essarani said that sugar production in the current season stood at 4.75 million tons. He said Sindh produced 1.3 million tons, Punjab 3.15 million tons while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) produced 350,000 tons of sugar.
Citing last year’s sugar production figures, he said sugar production in the year 2010-2011 was 4.1 million tons, including Sindh produced 1.3 million tons, Punjab produced 2.5 million tons while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) stood at 250,000 tons of sugar. It was also learnt that sugar mills in Punjab had so far paid 98 percent of dues to cane growers.