Govt to export 50,000 tonnes of surplus sugar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 16, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 16, 2013

Govt to export 50,000 tonnes of surplus sugar


The state-run Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) plans to export 50,000 tonnes of locally-crushed sugar to Europe under the region's duty-free and quota-free scheme.
The corporation has already floated an international tender for buyers/importers for the exports.
"There is a market for our produced sugar in the EU region, so we want to explore that option," Industries Minister Dilip Barua told The Daily Star.
Exports, however, will depend upon fair prices from bidders, Barua said.
The minister reassured that the shipment, which would take place in phases, would not lead to price spirals in the domestic market.
“In the meantime, 50,000 tonnes of sugar will be produced in our mills,” said Barua, adding that would be the highest quantity the BSFIC aims to ship to the Eurozone.
The move comes on the back of stock build-up, due to reluctance of dealers to purchase at the corporation's mill gate rate of Tk 50 per kilogram, which is higher than the retail price in the market.
A kilogram of sugar sold at Tk 48-50 at the markets in Dhaka yesterday, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.
At present, BSFIC is sitting on nearly 1.50 lakh tonnes of sugar, with new produce due from its 15 mills.
Some 50,000 tonnes of sugar have been produced in the current fiscal year, with stocks likely to heap further in the coming months due to production and lukewarm demand from dealers, said BSFIC officials.
The corporation's decision to export comes at a time when sugar is trading below last year's Tk 58-60 a kilogram on the domestic front, thanks to soaring imports of raw sugar by the private sector.
Sugar imports soared by 127 percent year-on-year to 7.62 lakh tonnes in the July-December period of current fiscal year, according to Bangladesh Bank's letters of credit settlement data.
The government allowed sugar exports in the face of mounting pressure from private refiners who were left with idle processing capacities on October 29, ending a two-year ban.
Since the withdrawal, the commerce ministry has so far given permission to export more than 2 lakh tonnes of sugar to countries in Europe, Africa and India, said an official of the ministry.
Mohammad Habibur Rahman, BSFIC's marketing chief, said prices of sugar remained steady for the past couple months.
“Such satiability in prices is another reason for BSFIC taking the decision to export,” he said.
Bangladesh's annual local demand is around 15 lakh tonnes, according to Bangladesh Sugar Refiners Association, but the processing capacities of the refineries stand at 35 lakh tonnes.

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