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Wednesday December 08, 2021

Imported sugar soon to land for price support

January 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Imported sugar is soon to be available in the market that will further reduce the sweetener’s prices for domestic consumers, industries minister said on Monday.

Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar told the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) that retail prices of sugar witnessed a decline during the last week and would come down further as imported sugar would be available soon in the domestic market.

Azhar also informed the committee about the significant decline in the international prices of palm oil and soyabean, which will eventually reduce the recent upward pressure on the prices of edible oil in the domestic market.

Minister for Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh, who chaired the NPMC’s meeting, directed the ministry of industries and production to take necessary measures to ensure that the recent reduction in international prices of edible oil is effectively passed on to the consumers. Shaikh emphasised the proactive role on behalf of all authorities concerned to ensure smooth provision of essential items at affordable rates to public.

The NPMC reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar and edible oil during the week.

Despite being the agriculture economy, Pakistan largely depends on edible oil imports to meet local demand. This is one hand leads to imported inflation when prices of edible oil increase in the international market, while it also means bulk of foreign exchange flowing out of the country on the other.

The country spent more than one billion dollars on imports of palm and soyabean oil during the first half of the current fiscal year of 2020/21. The edible oil import bill accounts for over a quarter of food imports during the period.

“The finance minister lauded the coordinated and consolidated efforts of the federal and provincial governments for uninterrupted provision of wheat throughout the country,” a statement said. “The NPMC appreciated efforts of all relevant authorities to ensure sufficient stock of sugar in coming months,” said the statement.

Member Pakistan Bureau of Statistics informed the committee that provinces are on board for smooth implementation of newly developed dashboard of prices of essential items. Steps are being taken to make the system fully functional for monitoring price disparity across the provinces, he said.

The meeting was informed about the weekly sensitive price indicator and decline in prices of wheat flour, vegetables and eggs due to coordinated efforts of all the provincial government across the country. On the whole, prices of eight items registered decline whereas 24 items remained stable during the week.

It was informed that current stock of wheat is sufficient for the domestic consumption and average per day release by the provinces is also satisfactory. The prices of wheat flour registered a continuous decline due to improved release of wheat (per day) and its steady supply across the country.