Sugar output estimate hiked up to 4.1 mln tonnes | Pakistan Today

Sugar output estimate hiked up to 4.1 mln tonnes

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan is estimated to have produced 4.1 million tonnes of sugar from the 2010/11 crop, industry officials said on Wednesday, adding there was no need to import the sweetener this year, given ample stocks.
The new estimate is up nearly 400,000 tonnes from the previous projection despite initial fears that output would fall because of massive summer floods in 2010 that damaged several crops, including sugarcane.
“Sugar output from the 2010/11 crop has reached about 4.1 million tonnes,” Javed Kayani, chairman of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) told Reuters.
“There were damages to sugarcane by the floods, but as it is a water-intensive crop, recovery ratio increased and led to the better output,” he said.
A senior official at the country’s Ministry of Industries and Production also confirmed that sugar output would exceed 4 million tonnes, but said the final figure was likely to be announced later this month.
Pakistan, which has the fifth largest sugarcane growing area in the world, consumes about 4.2 million tonnes of sugar a year.
Kayani said the state-run Trading Corporation of Pakistan already had stocks of about 400,000 tonnes of imported sugar and, together with the better-than-expected crop, is sufficient to meet domestic demand until the next harvest in November.
“We are pretty much secured until November and that means we don’t need to import sugar this year,” said Kayani, who expects a nearly 10 percent increase in sugarcane planting and, therefore, another good crop in the next season.
Pakistan’s sugar season runs from October to September.
Pakistan had to import about 1.2 million tonnes of sugar last year after production fell to nearly 3.1 million tonnes from the 2009/10 crop, when many farmers switched to more profitable crops.
In Pakistan, there is no import duty on white sugar. The government in September waived a 25 percent duty on raw sugar to encourage the private sector to import the sweetener to meet feared shortages after August floods.

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