Sunday December 05, 2021

Sugar prices to reach over Rs100 per kg after Eid holidays

May 16, 2021

LAHORE: Sugar prices are going through the roof again in the Punjab markets after Eid holidays following a brief respite from soaring cost of sweetener for the consumers during the month of Ramazan.

The government-notified price of sugar is going to lose validity from tomorrow (Monday) as Lahore High Court only allowed it to implement a notified Rs80 per kg ex-mill price for the month of Ramazan, said an official. The controlled rate was to be applied on 155,000 tons of sugar during this period and this quantity was aimed at supplying at special Ramazan Bazaars as well as in the open market, the official added.

The implied meaning of the court's interim order was to knock down the government's notification of fixing the ex-mill rate at Rs90 per kg and maximum retail price at Rs85 per kg after Eid holidays. The court held in abeyance plea of sugar mill owners only for the month of Ramazan by allowing implementation of government notified sugar price for a month or so to give relief to masses.

A sugar dealer also confirmed an upsurge in the sugar price from Monday. On the condition of anonymity, a representative of Lahore sugar dealers said the ex-mill price of sugar from Monday will be ranging between Rs 92-93 per kg.

When contacted, a senior member of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) did not deny or confirm the price hike of sugar after the end of the Eid holidays.

In fact, the ex-mill price of sugar has largely been hovering around Rs90 per kg in the province in the last month or so. The LHC order gave some solace to consumers, putting brakes on the upward trend in the price of commodity due to lifting of huge quantities of sugar from mills' warehouses.

However, there have still been serious issues in implementation of the LHC order regarding controlling the price of sugar during the month of Ramazan. The price of sugar had largely been above the notified price of sugar in most markets of the provinces. For instance, according to official data, the notified price was only being followed in a few markets of Faisalabad, Okara and Sargodha.

As per prices recorded by Agriculture Economics Department of the provincial government, wholesale price of sugar in Lahore on My 5 was 9,500 per 100 kg, Rs 8,300 per 100 kg in Faisalabad, Rs9,500 per 100 kg in Gujranwala, Rs8,300 per 100 kg in Okara, Rs8,300 per 100 kg in Sargodha, Rs 9,400 per 100 kg in Rawalpindi, Rs9,250 per 100 kg in Multan, Rs9,000 per 100 kg in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rs9,500 per 100 kg in Bahawalpur and Rs9,001 per 100 kg in Rahim Yar Khan.

Sugar lifted from sugar mills under a Lahore High Court order at the rate of Rs80 per kg was being further subsidised and sold at Ramazan bazaars at Rs65 per kg. However, due to availability in low quantities, this intervention also led to long queues of consumers at the Ramazan bazaars as consumed thronged special bazaars to purchase the commodity at cheaper price.