Karachi, Feb 13: Pakistan, Asia’s third-biggest sugar user, plans to import 200,000 metric tons of white sugar from countries including India to plug a shortfall in production. A bulk of the sweetener will arrive in a month’s time from India, Raees Ashraf Tar Mohammad, chairman of Pakistan Commodity Traders Association said. Pakistan will also import some sugar from Brazil, Raees said.
Pakistan’s sugarcane production fell to 46 million tons in the year ended November 2005, from 47 million tons a year ago, worsening a shortfall caused after drought cut output in 2004.
The latest order is in addition to the 50,000 tons of sugar the Pakistan government said last month it will buy from India to stem prices rising prices of the commodity.
In Pakistan, domestic sugar prices have increased about 40 per cent in the past two months amid government forecast that the South Asian country will produce 3 million tons of the sweetener this year, less than the demand of 3.8 million tons.
Two shiploads of 12,500 tons each of white sugar from India will reach Karachi port by end of this week, while another 1,800 tons will arrive by rail across the Wagha border, Raees said.