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Pakistan can get cheaper and faster Indian sugar if trade is reopened | India News

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NEW DELHI: Pakistan can get cheaper and faster Indian sugar if neighboring sugar-deficit country resumes trade with India and contains rising retail prices for the sweetener during Ramadan that will start soon, officials said Sunday. sugar industry.
Sugar prices in Pakistan’s retail markets have skyrocketed to PKR 100 per kg due to production shortages and the country is reflecting on imports. The Pakistan Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) recommended that the government allow the importation of 5,00,000 tons of white sugar to increase domestic availability.
Last week, there were sudden hopes of a trade reopening between the two nations. However, the Pakistani cabinet followed up on the Pakistan ECC’s decision to allow the importation of sugar and cotton from India.
Pakistan, which expects a sugar production of 5.6 million tonnes in the current 2020-21 marketing year (October-September), faces a shortage of 5 million tonnes, according to Pakistani traders.
President of the Indian Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) Praful Vithalani stated that India can easily cope with all of Pakistan’s sugar shortage, said: “It would be a win-win situation for both countries if trade is resumed. I mean that the basic products necessary for human consumption should be kept away from politics. ”
The neighboring country, where crushing operations are taking place, needs medium-grain white sugar that is widely consumed and is adequately available in India, the second largest sugar-producing nation in the world after Brazil. While Brazil has grade S white sugar, that is, fine sugar, and it is not very preferred in Pakistan, he said.
“Via the overland route through Punjab, white sugar would cost around $ 398 tonnes (which includes transportation costs and drop-off delivery). This fee is cheaper by at least $ 25 / ton compared to other nations via the sea route, “he said, adding imports. Seaway would prove costly for Pakistan after adding port and port-to-port clearance costs.
Not just the cost of logistics, Vithalani said Pakistan can get sugar from India much faster, in four days compared to 45-60 days from Brazil.
In addition, AISTA Vice President Rahil Shaikh said that India is the closest country to Pakistan to import white sugar. The other nearby countries are Algeria and the United Arab Emirates. Importing from Brazil is not feasible both in terms of cost and distance.
He also said that Pakistan has not imported sugar so far in the current marketing season. The Pakistan State Trade Corporation (TCP) had submitted two import tenders of 50,000 tonnes each. However, it had to scrap the tenders mainly due to high prices. The lowest offer he received was $ 540 and $ 544 per ton from Al Khaleez, Dubai.
Last year, Pakistan had contracted around 1.25,000 tonnes of sugar in the price range of $ 425-455 per tonne, Shaikh said, adding that imports from India will be cheaper than this.
“If Pakistan contracts sugar from Brazil at this time, it would take a minimum of 45 days to receive the shipment. In fact, it could take more days as the ports in Brazil are busy and the ships are not moving fast,” said one of the sugar mills. owner from Uttar Pradesh.
According to the general director of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), Abinash Verma, “If the trade opens, it will be good for both countries. We can help Pakistan cope with its sugar shortage. On the other hand, it would help the India to reduce some of its surplus stocks. ”
India has a surplus of stocks and aims to export 6 million tonnes in the current 2020-21 marketing year (October-September) with a transportation subsidy of Rs 6 per kg for sea shipment and Rs 4 per kg for land route.
Of the total sugar exports, Indian mills have already contracted 4.5 million tons. The balance of 1.5 million tonnes should be exported in the next six months, Verma added.
One of the Pakistani trading company officials, on condition of anonymity, said that if trade between the two nations is opened, India’s sugar imports would be less expansive by at least $ 25 per ton by land and shipments will arrive. soon without much hassle. .
Timely imports will help boost domestic availability during Ramadan when demand for sugar normally increases and will help stop rising retail prices, he added.
Pakistan is the eighth largest producer and consumer of sugar in the world. Sugar cane is grown on approximately 1.2 million hectares and provides the raw material for 89 sugar mills.

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