LAHORE: Sugar prices in the city touched Rs90 per kg on Saturday. Stakeholders said that the hike in prices was due to a sharp fall in supply.
They held the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TDCP) responsible for the shortage, saying it had failed to import sugar in time.
Sugar traders said their stocks were drying up fast and that the product was short in supply.
The prices, they said, were bound to rise in such a situation.
“The prices will rise further if fresh stocks do not arrive in the market in the next few days,” Muhammad Ayub, a dealer in Akbari Mandi, said.
He said that sugar prices had been rising since the beginning of August.
“It was sold for Rs66-68 per kg in the first week and for Rs72-75 per kg in the third week of August, for Rs80-85 per kg in the first week of September and has now shot up to Rs90 per kg,” he added.
Sugar consumption in the country is 300,000 tonnes per month.
Though the government has imported sugar, fresh stocks will not reach the city markets before two weeks.
Iskander Muhammad Khan, the Pakistan Sugar Mills’ Association (PSMA) chairman, said that the mills had nothing to do with the shortage. “We have already sold more than 95 per cent of our stocks.” He held the TCP responsible for the shortage, “had they imported sugar in time, the shortage could have been avoided.” Khan hoped that the prices would come down in two to three weeks.
Consumers said that the government should make sure that essential commodities were available at affordable rates.
“The prices of sugar have skyrocketed in recent days. The government could have prevented this had it acted in advance,” said Sabir Ahmed, a shopper at Akbari Mandi.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2010.