KARACHI: Rising sugar prices showed no signs of respite even as the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) auctioned another 10,000 tons of imported sugar in the open market on Saturday.
The TCP announced that the corporation “has sold the advertised quantity (10,000 tons) in the open market at Rs70,000 per ton excluding taxes.”
“TCP received bids from 59 different parties, of which 20 parties were declared non-responsive on account of non-compliance with tender conditions. The rates quoted ranged from Rs56,000 to Rs70,000 per ton,” it added.
TCP spokesperson Khizar Hayat told The Express Tribune that the highest bid came from Karachi-based Al Huda which offered Rs70,000 per ton for 2,450 tons initially. “They agreed to increase the amount they bid for to 5,000 tons and have been awarded a tender,” added Hayat.
The second highest bid was for Rs69,444 per ton and that party has also been awarded a tender for 5,000 tons, according to TCP officials.
The next tender for sale of sugar in the open market is “scheduled to be opened and awarded on November 8.”
TCP officials asserted that “most of the 50,000 tons of sugar sold earlier has been lifted by private parties,” adding successful bidders from Saturday’s auction are also required to pick up their stocks within the next week.
Successful bidders from the first auction were directed by the Sindh High Court to sell the sweetener in retail markets at a price not higher than Rs72 per kilogramme (kg). Despite court orders, sugar prices have continued to spiral to as high as Rs100 per kg in some areas of the country.
Sugar prices have surged to about Rs85 per kg in retail markets of Karachi and in other major cities as well. Experts contend that the offloading of sugar into retail markets through TCP may not bring down the prices unless the authorities also take steps against hoarders and profiteers.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2010.
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