Pakistan sugar exports seen at 250,000 Tons in 07/08

Pakistan, which entered the world sugar market in January after a gap of five years, plans to export about 250,000 tonnes in the current crop year to September, a leading producer said on Thursday.
An importer of sugar in recent years, Pakistan struck its first deal to export the sweetener in early 2008 by selling 1,000 tonnes of whites to Sri Lanka and has been ramping up overseas sales since then.
“Mills have so far contracted to export 150,000-200,000 tonnes of sugar from the new season,” Ahmed Ebrahim Hasham, a director at Mehran Sugar Mills Ltd, told Reuters on the sidelines of a sugar conference in Mumbai.
“Out of the total contracts for exports this season, some have already been shipped to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Yemen,” he said.
Sugarcane crushing season in Pakistan runs from October to September.
Mills in the country plan to export 50,000 tonnes sugar more and they would like to tap markets in the Middle East and Bangladesh, he said.
Pakistan, which consumes around 4.2 million tonnes of sugar annually, is expected to produce between 4.6 million tonnes to 4.8 million tonnes this year, up from 3.5 million tonnes last year, Hasham said.
“Production is expected to be slightly lower next year as farmers have not been paid well for their cane this time due to low sugar prices in the country. While production is expected to fall slightly next year, consumption has started rising by about 5 percent annually,” he said.
The country was not likely to import sugar next year despite expected drop in output as last year’s carryover stocks would help meet domestic demand, Hasham said.
Pakistan imported around one million tonnes of sugar in the year to September 2007, including 700,000-800,000 tonnes from India.

Copyright Reuters, 2008