In a concerning development, sugar prices have surged past the Rs. 200 per kg mark in various cities across the country. The Ministry of National Food Security & Research has attributed this price hike to issues like smuggling, hoarding, and market manipulation.
The situation is most severe in Balochistan’s Noshki, where sugar is being sold for as high as Rs. 220 per kg. Other cities in the province, including Quetta, Kohlu, and Washuk, also witness sugar prices hovering around Rs. 200 per kg. In Peshawar, the price of sugar varies between Rs. 195 to Rs. 205 per kg, while in Punjab, it falls in the range of Rs. 170 to Rs. 190 per kg. In major urban centers such as Karachi, Lahore, and Multan, sugar prices are approximately Rs. 180 per kg.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet recently convened to address this pressing issue. They instructed the Ministry of National Food Security & Research to collaborate with relevant agencies and authorities to combat sugar smuggling and hoarding. Additionally, the ECC urged the ministry to promptly furnish data on wheat stock, availability, and prices.
Over the past four months, sugar prices have escalated by over 80 percent. Despite this surge, the country continued to export sugar, with July recording 5,542 metric tonnes in exports. However, a ban on sugar exports was imposed on August 10, effectively halting further exports.