The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has sufficient sugar stocks to meet Ramazan demand and has already issued orders for release of 50,000 tons of sugar to Utility Stores Corporation from its total stocks of 166,000 tons lying with different mills throughout the country.
This was stated by TCP chairman Saeed Ahmed Khan at a news briefing in his office on Wednesday. He further said that the corporation would like to see that the balance of 100,000 tons reaches the USC before Ramazan so that sugar shortage is not created in the holy month.
The TCP is also holding stocks of 75,000 tons imported sugar and expects another 50,000 tons to reach Karachi by the end of this month which would take total stocks of imported sugar to 125,000 tons.He said early this year the government had asked the TCP to import around 200,000 tons of sugar in anticipation of shortage. Consequently, the corporation has already imported around 125,000 tons and for the balance of 75,000 tons, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has directed the TCP to issue import tender on Aug 31.
There is no delay in release of sugar or holding back of stocks by the TCP, Saeed Ahmed Khan said and maintained that the corporation has to work on government directives for import of any commodity and maintain reserve stocks to meet shortages from time to time.The TCP chairman said that an attempt to bring down sugar prices in the open market by offering 10,000 tons, out of imported sugar, failed because the corporation received high bids of up to Rs45200 per ton which could not have influenced prices.Therefore, he said the government directed the corporation to cancel the bid and hold back stocks. The ECC has allowed import of 300,000 tons raw sugar but prices in the world market are still high.
Mr Khan said that New York market prices for raw sugar are at around $481 per ton and London market prices for white sugar are at around $542 per ton.Responding to a question, he said that the main reason for high sugar prices in the world market are huge Indian demand of around five million tons of sugar. He said that late monsoon rains resulted in short cane crop.
India being largest consumer of sugar, he said, on average gets 24 million tons of sugar production, but this season it only produced 16 million tons. Similarly, he said Brazil which is the largest producer of sugar had a bad cane crop owing to heavy rains.On average, he said, 300,000 tons of sugar is consumed per month and the TCP is ready to give the USC 100,000 tons per month which would mean that one-third of domestic sugar demand would be met by the corporation. To another question, Mr Khan said that imported sugar would cost Rs55 per kg or Rs44,000 per ton to the corporation after including all costs. Since the TCP staggered its sugar imports the first shipment in February was quoted at $474 per ton while second shipment in April received at $474 per ton and third in June was quoted at $494 per ton.
Courtesy: The DAWN