Sugar millers threaten to delay crushing if 'partial' export not permitted.

LAHORE -- Sugar mill owners on Friday demanded the government allow the export of around 60 per cent of surplus sugar stock from the last year, otherwise they would delay the start of the upcoming crushing season.

Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), the representative body of sugar mill owners, has been demanding the federal government to allow the export of what they call surplus stocks. However, the government, fearing a shortage, is resisting the demand.

The mill owners, who are set to meet Finance Minister Ishaq Dar over the issue, have apparently softened their stance and offered the government to retain 40pc of the surplus stock lying with them.

'If, due to political considerations, the government desires to ensure some buffer stocks [to maintain sugar prices in local market] then 500,000 tons of the 1.2 million tons of the sugar may be retained, allowing export of the rest,' PSMA (Central) Chairman Asim Ghani Usman said in a press conference.

Govt has resisted demand fearing shortage of the commodity

He warned if the demand was not met, the 2022-23 crushing season would be started from mid-January, instead of Nov 30 as required under the law.

Mr Usman vowed the millers were ready to face consequences of the action, which is in violation of the Sugar Factories (Control) Act.

He said the meeting with the finance minister would only be useful if the government agreed to allow the export.

As per PSMA claims 1.2m to 1.3m tonnes of sugar was available with the millers, sufficient to meet the domestic demand till Jan 15, 2023.

The export of 1m tonnes could fetch $1 billion, the PSMA claims.

Mr Ghani said the export would help millers...

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