Pakistan sugar imports lower than forecast: report

WASHINGTON: Pakistan did not import as much sugar as originally forecast in 2008/09 and instead has drawn down stocks, a US Department of Agriculture attache said on Monday.

Pakistan’s imports were lowered to 125,000 tonnes from an earlier estimate of 700,000 tonnes.

‘Lower-than-anticipated imports have meant demand being met by a draw-down in stocks and a steep (60 per cent) increase in sugar prices,’ the attache said in a report.

Government attempts to ease sugar prices by imposing price controls have only worsened the situation, contributing to confusion in the market and even higher free-market prices, the report said.

‘With lower stocks and stagnant production, Pakistan’s imports of sugar in 2009/10 are projected at 800,000 tonnes,’ the attache said.

The report noted that the draw-down in stocks cut the forecast for 2008/09 ending stocks in half to 550,000 tonnes, and sugar output for 2009/10 is expected at 3.5 million tonnes in 2009/10, unchanged from the previous year.

Attache reports are not official USDA data. —Reuters

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