The government’s crackdown on hoarders and smugglers has temporarily lowered Ex-Mill sugar prices by up to Rs. 2,000 per 100kg. However, analysts believe this effect is short-lived.
Reports of district administrations seizing hoarded and smuggled sugar have led to a drop in Ex-Mill prices from nearly Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 15,800-15,800 per 100 kg. Still, experts consider this a temporary situation.
Market consultants anticipate that sugar prices will rebound to Rs. 18,000 per kg by the end of the month because wholesale deals for October and November have already been made at Rs. 19,000 per 100 kg.
Also Read: Sugar Prices Soar: Rs. 200/Kg in Some Cities
The Punjab Caretaker Government recently removed the Food Secretary, Zaman Watoo, for “misstatement and misconduct in the sugar crisis” and assigned Secretary Irrigation Wasif Khursheed as the additional charge of Food Secretary.
There have been unconfirmed reports of talks between the government and the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) to set retail sugar prices at Rs. 170 per kg, although PSMA claims it has no knowledge of such discussions.
Experts believe that both the government and sugar mills need to find a rational solution to the sugar crisis rather than relying on crackdowns that exacerbate the situation. Balochistan, in particular, is facing high sugar prices due to heavy scrutiny of sugar flows to the region because of Afghan smuggling.
To address the issue effectively, experts suggest that the government and sugar industry stakeholders should work together to find a proactive and sustainable solution that benefits consumers and ensures market stability.