Export of organic brown sugar on the cards | Pakistan Today

Export of organic brown sugar on the cards

Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) has recommended the export of organic brown sugar in limited quantity in the proposed draft of Trade Policy 2011-12, which is likely to be announced during the week after formal approval from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, official policy draft reveals.
The MoIP has pointed out that there is a huge demand of high-value organic brown sugar in the developed world and Pakistan could easily take advantage of this opportunity without affecting the domestic supply of sweetener. Official document made available to Pakistan Today indicates that this less processed form of sugar is produced in limited quantity in the country and cannot be blended with refined sugar.
Document suggests that the MoIP has supported the proposal with a condition that the export of organic brown sugar should not increase two per cent of the total annual production of Pakistan. Currently the commodity is being produced in negligible quantity, which is mainly consumed by the growers and producers. Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) members term it a welcoming move and believe that it will encourage the domestic sugar milling industry to produce high-value organic brown sugar. Industry experts underscore that the country is expecting a bumper sugarcane crop, so the move would not hurt domestic requirement in any way.
Negligible internal-demand due to high price: They indicated that currently only few sugar mills are producing and marketing organic brown sugar in the country as there is a negligible demand due to high price. Only a few thousand tonnes of organic brown sugar is being supplied to big five star hotels, confectionaries and mega departmental stores in posh localities in major cities of the country. The price of this type of premium sweetener is around 30 per cent higher compared to refined white sugar, they maintained. Industry experts pointed out that the total domestic sugar production was about 4.8 million tonnes in the country, during 2010-11. If the government allows export of some 100,000 tonnes of organic brown sugar, it will help Pakistan in earning good foreign exchange and export diversification.
Shortage of sugar due to flooding: While on the other hand, agriculture experts underline that initial flood damage estimates suggests that there would be a shortfall of around 0.4 million tonnes of sugarcane as some 30 per cent sugarcane crop was under water in the Sindh province. The government had estimated sugarcane production of 53.86 million tonnes of which 35.37 million tonnes was produced in Punjab, 14.01 million tonnes was Sindh’s share and 4.5 million tonnes contributed by Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. But now owing to heavy rains and flooding, the situation has been changed and if the government allows sugar export of any kind the country may face sweetener crisis, agriculture experts believe.
Monthly sugar consumption in Pakistan is around 0.322 million tonnes, while industry believes that it is about 0.432 million tonnes. In per capita terms sugar consumption is about 25 kilograms in Pakistan.

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