ISLAMABAD – The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in next week would consider allowing sugar exports amid sufficient stock of commodity in the country.
The Ministry of Commerce would submit a summary in next ECC meeting, which would meet next week, to consider sugar exports allow.
An official of the Ministry informed that an inter-ministerial committee has recently proposed to export of 1 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of sugar without any subsidy to the ECC. “We have proposed the ECC to allow the sugar exports as the country has the sufficient stock,” said the official.
Giving details of the stock, he informed that production of sugar is expected at around 6.617 MMT after the recent crushing season in the country with net excess of about 2 million tonnes.
Total surplus sugar by the end of season will be 1.962 MMT. After deducting strategic reserves of two months i.e. 0.866 MMT, there will be a net surplus of 1.096 MMT of sugar , therefore it will be safe to recommend export of 1 MMT without making it time-bound and it can be reviewed by the monitoring committee, he added.
It might be mentioned here that sugarcane production had increased in last fiscal year. According to the Economic Survey 2017-18, the previous fiscal year had witnessed another record season for the sugarcane crop production of 81.102 million tonnes showing an increase of 7.4 percent over the last year’s production of 75.482m tonnes which comfortably exceeded the target of 70.3m tonnes by a considerable margin of 15.4pc.
Its production accounts 3.6pc in agriculture’s value addition and 0.7pc in overall GDP.
Sugarcane crop was cultivated on an area of 1,313 thousands hectares compared to last year’s area of 1,218 thousands hectares, up by 7.8pc.
Sugarcane production was up due to increase in sowing area. Good economic returns encouraged growers to bring more area under cultivation and comparatively timely payments from sugar mills last year, the survey said.
In 2012-13, the exports of 1.064 million tonnes of sugar fetched $530 million while in 2014-15 the country earned $322m with shipments of 708,356 tonnes of the commodity.
The Economic Survey stated sugarcane is high value cash crop of Pakistan and is significantly important for sugar and sugar-related industries in the national economy. It provides raw material for industry which is the country’s second largest agro-industry sector after textiles.